On 50th Anniversary of Turkish Language Classes in Germany, Students Struggle with Psychical Conditions

It has been 50 years since a first ever Turkish language class was offered in German public schools. Despite five decades of implementation, attendance in Turkish Language classes in Germany are far from what it is supposed to be. And the reason for it varies from lack of desire of Turkish kids to physical condition of classes.

Turkey’s Dusseldorf Mission held a conference on Tuesday to evaluate the state of Turkish language classes in the country. Civic society representatives and education experts were present at the conference to exchange ideas on how to improve the situation. It was reiterated at the conference that the attendance of Turkish classes are extremely low and it should be increased. However, a recent field study of two education experts showed that dire physical conditions are the main reason behind poor attendance.

Although the number is vague, there are estimated 3,5 million Turkish-descent people living in Germany. In 2013-2014 season, only 56 thousand kids took Turkish language classes in North Rhine Westphalia state where there are nearly 300 thousand students whom are Turkish-descent. And the following year, total of 110 thousand kids chose Turkish classes through out Germany.

According to the study, 70 percent of Turkish language teachers said the Turkish classes have been offered by the school administrations at late hours which prevents kids from choosing them. And 20 percent of the teachers said that they were not provided a classroom at all to teach. And 100 percent of teachers taking part in the study stated that the technological infrastructure of the classes were insufficient and they received no help from school administrations. There were 1047 Turkish language teachers in 2013-2014 season in Germany and nearly half of them took part in this study.

Teachers also complained about lack of coordination between the parents and school administrations. Also one of the most important problems is Turkish language classes not earning credits so it makes the Turkish classes less appealing to the kids whom are already having hard time to overcome discrimination issues to complete their school.

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