VIENNA: Directors at Viennese schools decided to boycott or a circumvention of the German sponsorship classes from autumn in Vienna. “We hope that our trade union representation will support us if we have to do things that the law might not permit,” said the head of Vereinsgasse elementary school, Gabriele Lener, at a press conference. ÖVP General Secretary Karl Nehammer then stressed we need in schools “no left-wing ideologues, but educators”. He called on Vienna’s SPÖ education councilor Jürgen Czernohorsky to ensure compliance with the law.
We will try to find ways to do justice to the children, “said Lener on Tuesday evening. The director of AHS Rahlgasse, Ilse Rollett, categorically excludes German classes at her school – although the necessary number of extraordinary students for whom these classes are intended are usually not registered at AHS anyway.
“Platform for school-autonomous implementation of language support measures”
Directors, teachers, linguists and parents have teamed up to form a “platform for school-autonomous implementation of language learning measures”. Their aim is to shift the decision on the design of language support measures into the autonomy of the school – for example, whether or to what extent children with language problems are taken out of their main classes for language promotion.
Nehammer: “No left-wing ideologues in schools”
“If you deny children with language deficits German classes, you have taken out all the chances for their future. It can not be that teachers resist legislation. We do not need leftist ideologues in the schools, but educators who care about the future of our children. German is the key to integration in Austria, “stresses ÖVP General Secretary Nehammer in view of the announced breaches of law by Viennese teachers and directors.
He now assumes Czernohorszky as his duty: “The Vienna Education Council to act approprately. The Federal government has evolved an important measure for integration with the German classes – and this has to be implemented. Austria is a constitutional state, and one has to abide by laws – even if they contradict one’s own ideology. ”
“German classes do not make sense at my location”
“There may be school locations where German classes make sense – certainly not on mine,” emphasized the director of the elementary school Bernhardtstalgasse in Favoriten, Horst Pintarich. Apart from the fact that the model did not work in Berlin, for example, it faces hardly insoluble organizational challenges.
He would opened five first classes in the fall, for which there are exactly five rooms. Due to the expected number of extraordinary students, he had to set up three language classes from five mixed classes. The remaining ordinary students from the five remaining classes – in which the extraordinary students have to return after obtaining the necessary language skills – would then have to be remixed again. “Otherwise only eight or ten children would be left per class. Anything else would be a waste of resources, “says Pintarich.
“Affected children are excluded”
“More than worrying” are the requirements for the elementary school teacher Susanne Panholzer-Hehenberger. “Six-year-olds do not learn a language by learning vocabulary in a classroom.” Around 20 out of 70 first-class students would expect to be extraordinary students at their school and to enter a German class. “These children are excluded from arithmetic and science.” Most of these are not refugee children, but those from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. At least, these would need fixed social groups. “If you separate these children from the others, you take them away the educational role model, the language model and also the model of learning culture.”
The director of the NMS Schopenhauerstraße in Vienna-Währing, Erika Tiefenbacher, has experience with pure refugee classes at her school. “These children today can speak bad German language than the children who were in the regular class.” Another problem according to the teachers: Due to legal requirements, children in NMS German classes would have to spend two-thirds of their education for the language. But they would automatically lose the year due to the lack of subjects teaching. In many cases, this would mean that they could not complete a secondary school diploma.
Demonstration in front of the Ministry of Education
On Saturday afternoon, along with other education action groups, there will be a demonstration with a closing rally on Minoritenplatz in front of the Ministry of Education.__Krone.at