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Together towards a better school education

A good school education is the basis of a successful start to working life and subsequent career path.

Therefore Working Group 3,  "The economy and the media as bridge-builders" began with the subject of "school". The topics of "Transition between school and work" and "Requirements of the economy" are to be looked at next. One thing became clear to the experts very early on: in the area of school education, there is a need for action but this is not limited to specifically Muslim issues.

The following appeals apply, therefore, to parents and pupils of other religions and origins. Pupils not from an immigrant background would also benefit from the measures.

Working with parents: setting the right course together

It is still the case that first-class pupils with an immigrant background can hardly speak a word of German and as a result start their schooling at a considerable disadvantage. Children must be put on the right path earlier in life -  at kindergarten and pre-school.

Even if a sheltered upbringing in the family is not considered to be a disadvantage, steps must be taken to ensure that children and young people learn the language of the country and about their environment. To achieve this, parents with an immigrant background must be wooed more effectively.

At the same time, staff in kindergartens and pre-schools must be trained in teaching German to, and in integration work with, Muslim children – training sessions and relevant further training are required. Teaching staff at schools and school management staff should receive further training above all in intercultural understanding.

Contact with parents from an immigrant background should also be used to convey detailed information about the German school system. In addition, better relationships between parents and schools are also desirable.

School concepts: so that no one is left behind

Working group 3 recommends that existing school concepts are reconsidered and amended in three areas.

Language teaching should be improved in the long term and take place in parallel with everyday schooling using new academically proven concepts.

There should also be improvements in introducing all-day schools in order to give children specific support during the afternoons.

Trials must be carried out to see if having a longer integrated school education makes sense. To date, the division at an early stage into the different types of secondary school (Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium) has resulted in educational segregation according to ethnic and social background. An education system should be supported that opens up opportunities, develops potential and does not make educational success dependent on a child’s social origins.

DIK-editorial team, 25.11.2008

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