Straight Up Suicide, Austria: School Class Without a Single German-Speaking Child



German may a dead language soon in Austria, at least in the school system.

Translation Nash Montana

School class without a single German-speaking child

The Mayor of Vienna Neustadt is alarmed and demands immediate help from the Education Ministry

The city of Vienna Neustadt is facing an educational and political mess. A cry for help from the mayor Klaus Schneeberger (ÖVP) towards the Education ministry shows the dramatic situation. For the first time there is a preschool class (the Otto Glöckel-School) where not a single child speaks German as his mother tongue. The average of children with a foreign native language in preschool classes is already at an alarming 80.33%, says Schneeberger.

With a migration rate of about 23% the largest school and kindergarten city of Lower Austria tops the list for all of Austria. This development is especially mirrored in the educational institutions.

Class interrupted

Already, in eight of seventeen kindergartens and five of eight elementary schools the proportion of children with a foreign native language has surpassed 50%. In high schools the number is already at 56.64%. The kindergarten educators, teachers and directors are reporting partially catastrophic knowledge of the German language on the part of the students. Especially in the so-called “hot-spot schools”, it’s almost impossible to hold normal lessons. The Otto Glöckel-School is one of them. There a third grade class is taught in which 93% of the children do not speak German at home. “It should be clear to everyone by now that it is de facto not possible to hold a targeted lesson class. In order not to spoil these kids in future a strengthened support system of schools and cities, such as Vienna Neustadt, for instance, is absolutely needed,” Klaus Schneeberger explained last Thursday. He rules out the demand by the Vienna city president Heinrich Himmer (SPÖ) for more teachers and targeted language education. Schneeberger wants to make the Education ministry responsible for that. “If we don’t react now, then we will have problems. The language deficits of the children of today are fertile soil for unemployment tomorrow.”

Projects from the city and other education authorities are a good thing, but state support so far was only a drop on a hot stone. “The ministry has to recognize the signs of the times, and finally act in a consequential manner,” opines Schneeberger.

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