Saturday, September 10, 2016

Back in school, German kids meet their new classmates: refugees

And boy is shit going to hit  the fan.
(CSM) The back-to-school bustle in Berlin this week is anything but banal: As thousands of young refugees take new seats in classrooms, Germany is facing the ultimate test of integration.

If the refugee crisis at the start of the last academic year played out at borders and shelters, this year the drama has shifted to the school building. While the number of arrivals has slowed considerably, it continues to grow. And many initially separated into “welcome” training to learn basic German are now moving into regular classes.

The challenges are enormous, with teacher and space shortages and soaring costs. And while Chancellor Angela Merkel’s oft-repeated mantra that Germany “can manage” will only be proven in the long-term – and is dogging her politically in the meantime – in schools, the theory is being put to the test already. Many say that if schools fail, so too will integration.