Lack of Integration of Migrant Children Sees German School Standards Decline

In this Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 photo a child rises her hand to answer a question of teacher Sandra Wiandt, background, at a so-called Willkommensklasse (Welcome Class) at the elementary school at the Baeke in Berlin, Germany. As a new school year began last month, Berlin’s schools saw non-German speaking …
AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

A new report has revealed that the standards of the German school system are in decline as teachers struggle with many migrant children who speak poor, and sometimes no, German.

A new study released by the Initiative New Social Market Economy (INSM) claims the quality of German education has decreased across almost every region in the country, citing several key issues from deficiencies in digitization to the problems of integration of migrant-background students, Die Welt reports.

One major issue raised by the study is the rise in the number of foreign-born pupils who are dropping out before graduation. In 2014 the number was 11.8 percent, but only a year later it had increased to 14.2 percent.

Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the German Teachers Association, said that the quality of learning has declined in schools which have students who do not speak proficient enough German.

Meidinger warned of “segregation” taking place in the school system and predicted that the problem may only get worse in the future as many teachers are not properly equipped to teach German as a second language.

A study released by the German Advisory Council on Integration and Migration (SVR) earlier this year echoed Meidliger’s comments, finding that teachers were just not equipped to handle teaching their normal subjects alongside teaching German to migrant children.

Some schools with a heavy concentration of migration-background pupils have also seen a rise in violence. Schools like Schoeneberg Spreewald Elementary School, which has a 99 percent migration-background student population, have been forced to hire security guards to deal with the increase in violence between pupils and toward teaching staff.

In 2016, an Austrian teacher warned that the mass influx of migrants had the potential to drag the country’s school system down, saying that there were even children born in Vienna who came into the schooling system not knowing a word of German.

She claimed that 98 percent of the students she taught who were migrants of came from migration backgrounds did not speak German as a first language.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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