Immigrant children should only speak German at school: legislator
A conservative lawmaker said immigrant children who go to school in Germany should only speak German on school premises.
Mario Zaga, general secretary of the CDU, claimed that many immigrants are poorly integrated into society due to insufficient German language skills, and called for new measures in schools.
“Care must be taken to ensure that German is the main language used in schools,” Zaga told Die Welt. “It is unacceptable for languages other than German to be spoken in the schoolyard.”
The leading politician in Germany’s main opposition party has argued that more language experts, social workers and school teachers should be employed in places where many immigrants live.
“Teachers and school administrations must make sure that students speak our language. Otherwise, parallel societies will develop, starting with schools,” he claimed.
Zaga’s controversial remarks were criticized by immigrant organizations, which echoed previous suggestions by right-wing politicians, who demanded that foreign languages be banned in the schoolyard.
Beren Arukaslan, co-chair of the Association of Turkish Parents in Berlin-Brandenburg, emphasized that speaking their mother tongue is a basic human right, guaranteed by the constitution.
“We strongly oppose this proposal. This is nonsense,” she told Anadolu Agency, adding that German courts have ruled in the past not to impose a ban on speaking the mother tongue in school corridors.
She noted that two years ago, a court in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg rejected disciplinary sanctions against students who spoke their mother tongue on the field.
“This court decision is very clear. Introducing such a ban is out of the question,” Arukaslan said.
About 27% of Germany’s population has an immigrant background, and in primary schools, 39% of all children are from immigrant families, according to the latest figures.