An effort to improve the situation of migrant children, in particular, included integrating the Hauptschule and Realschule into a new kind of school, the Sekundarschule, which was recently introduced in Berlin. The Czech Republic has failed to comply with European law and integrate Romani children into mainstream schools, said the Open Society Justice Initiative in a complaint filed this week. "We're talking about a sort of risk-group that leaves school lacking basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills - they are functionally illiterate," he told Deutsche Welle. According to the report, which is to be presented Thursday by the German education ministry and the state conference on education, an assembly of Germany's state education ministers, 17 percent of young Germans aged between 20 and 30 have no vocational qualification and are no longer in the education system. Unsurprisingly, this practice disproportionately affects children with a migrant background. These days, a Hauptschule education most often leads to unemployment or, at best, a low-income job with little hope of career advancement. In 2011, only a few weeks into the school year, many migrant students in Berlin were informed by their teachers that they were unlikely to pass; unremarkably, they eventually failed the first year test. Rallies have been planned in most major German cities. Problems have been endemic for years, and the report's findings provide few surprises for those concerned with German education. This marks a new high - in 2007, the figure was still at 15.2 percent. Stephanie Odenwald, director for vocational training at the educational workers' union GEW, said, "It's not a surprise - everyone who knows the education system has known this problem for years. "The interim system is just one element of it.". ", Odenwald can also identify one of the main causes of the problem: "It is mainly the fault of the misguided development of this massive transitional system, where young people leave school and don't get into job training programs and instead get put into these waiting loops, or 'job preparation schemes' as they are known. (10.12.2009), Thursday marks international Human Rights Day, an occasion to remind us of efforts to fight discrimination in the world. The introduction presents a preliminary survey of the history of German education since 1945. "These studies always come out with similar results. The separation of students into different classrooms is done under the pretext that the migrant students’ German language skills are inadequate for “regular” classes. The new report is one of many that have indirectly brought attention to the injustices in Germany's three-tiered school system, which divides students according to ability into one of three different schools after the fourth grade - these are the Hauptschule, the Realschule and the elite Gymnasium. ", Children with an immigrant background are particularly disadvantaged, This transitional system has often been blamed for leaving many of Germany's young people in limbo after leaving school, but Oezdemir says that the problems are much deeper. Yet another report is critical of Germany's education system. Their routine placement in the lowest level schools at a young age determines, for many, the course of their lives. Imagine if you were ten years old and already knew your educational choices were limited and your future job prospects dim. The Open Society Justice Initiative has submitted a briefing paper to the Human Rights Committee, seeking to shine a light on the consistent discrimination in education faced by ethnic minority children in Germany and urging the committee to voice its concern to the German government. Legal notice | That is the main finding of a new report presented by the German education ministry. (10.12.2009), University students across Germany have hit the streets as part of ongoing protests against tuition fees and reforms to higher education. After a 2000 OECD study found German children, too, fall well below the average performance on literacy, math, and science across the 32 countries surveyed, Germany attempted to address these deficiencies. Migrant children, despite some progress, also continue to be underrepresented in the highest-level Gymnasiums. ", As thousands of students rallied in cities across Germany against reforms to the tertiary education system here, the country’s state education ministers surfaced from a meeting with a pledge to rework the new format. This is the situation for children in Germany from Turkish, Kurdish, or Arab backgrounds. One in six Germans aged between 20 and 30 has no vocational qualification and is no longer in the education system. The situation is particularly dire among young people with an immigrant background, 30 percent of whom have no formal training and no prospect of achieving further qualifications. The purpose of this change was to create greater mobility within the secondary school system and to encourage ethnic diversity among student populations. In theory, attempts to create more diverse schools are a positive development. "There really isn't a recognition problem," he says. In the face of increasing pressures in the job market, the researchers warned that Germany could be facing a long-term unemployment problem for those without formal qualifications. Germany's system of education faces a number of challenges, among them a surplus of teachers in a period of declining birth rates. About nine percent of pupils are taught at private schools that charge fees. Katrine Thomasen is an advocacy officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative. The schools need to fit our children, not the other way round. In November 2007, the European Court of Human Rights demanded an end to segregated education for Roma in Czech schools. The German school system has traditionally been highly stratified, with students attending Gymnasium (the highest level school preparing students for university studies), Realschule (the intermediate level), or Hauptschule (the lowest level, which prepares children for work or vocational training). One forecast predicts that the supply of unqualified workers would exceed the number of jobs in this sector by some 1.3 million for the next 15 years. The Justice Initiative hopes that, armed with our briefing paper, the committee will engage Germany in a thorough debate about the need to reform the education system. (17.11.2009), © 2020 Deutsche Welle | | Mobile version. This book outlines the diversity of the German federal education system. Last week, five years later, Gypsy Crew took the stage. But in reality, this reform has prompted an increasingly hostile attitude towards migrants and, in particular, those affiliated with Islam—mainly people of Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic descent. International comparisons like the PISA studies have highlighted the social inequalities that are caused by this system. Under a recently introduced policy, students who are not performing at a certain level after the first year are dismissed from Gymnasium and “relegated” to special classes in an integrated secondary school. One in six Germans aged between 20 and 30 has no vocational qualification and is no longer in the education system. Instead of providing these children with additional support so they could succeed, their relegation to classes for “failed students” seemed a foregone conclusion. The report shows that Hauptschule students continue to have problems finding job training places, even though the competition for them is said to be decreasing. In short, the German education system is failing to help children overcome the disadvantage and marginalization that they experience as a result of their background, including as ethnic or religious minorities. Evidence demonstrates that children of Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic backgrounds—known as “migrant” children in Germany even if they are the second or even third generation of immigrants—wind up in disproportionate numbers in the lowest level Hauptschule, condemning them to a cycle of marginalization. Failing Another Generation: The Travesty of Roma Education in the Czech Republic, Czech Government Flouts Court Ruling on Roma Education. They simply are not getting that additional support, dooming them to permanent educational careers in the lowest level classes. There is an application problem. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. We use cookies to improve our service for you. A chief problem is reconciling the tradition of Land responsibility for education, which has resulted in a variety of school types, programs, and standards, with the need for a uniform national system. 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