A Vienna school director has warned that migrants are dragging down the school system and will likely create a “lost generation”, but authorities have tried to silence her.
Andrea Walach, the director of a Vienna school, said that migrant children are having an increasingly hard time learning German. She warned that because of their lack of language skills, young migrant children may be unemployable in the future and that the state would likely have to care for them their entire adult lives, according to TheLocal.at.
Describing the migrant students, she said that most of the children could only speak in fragments of sentences, could barely read, write or even count. She reckoned that at least a third of the children would end up on government assistance after their schooling.
In the school where she teaches, Walach made it clear that 98 per cent of her students were migrants or from migrant backgrounds where their first language wasn’t German, telling state TV network ORF:
“There are children who were born in Vienna, whose parents have already lived in Vienna for many years, but who have been brought up in their mother tongue for the first six years, barely know a word of German, haven’t read any picture books or watched German language TV. That means if they come to school they begin with language acquisition.”
Austria is dealing with a huge increase in foreigners from the migrant crisis. The problem with low Austrian birthrates and high migration means that now some 58 percent of kindergarten pupils do not speak German as a first language. The cost on the taxpayer for interpreters and social workers has also been immense. Walach laments that teachers need social workers just to make children come to school, as well as having to teach them concepts that are not understood due to lack of German language skills.
Walach also asserts that Federal Education Minister Gabriela Heinisch-Hosek tried silenced her with a gagging order when she tried to bring the information to the public. The Education Ministry sent a letter to the school inspector who was told to give Walach some “guidance” on the matter. Walach said that she was told to be quiet and said: “If I had so few ideas, I should take care not to make my views known publicly.”
The Ministry admitted to Austrian paper Kurier that they had sent a gagging letter to the school inspector but so far the Minister has declined to comment on the matter.
Johan Gedenus of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) called the situation an outrage and said it was a “scandal, which reminds me of the darkest times of the lowest point of real socialism” and it was like tactics used to silence opposition in Eastern Germany during the cold war.
A senior German academic said that the situation with migrants in Germany is no better. He said that two thirds of them are basically illiterate and will never find meaningful work in the German economy.