No teacher lets them suffer: inside the German schools taking in refugees

Nov 29, 2015 by

With 325,000 refugee children expected to enter German schools, teachers face unprecedented challenges. But they are determined to support new arrivals

This summer 52-year-old Daniel Wunsch, a teacher at Louis-Lepoix school in the picturesque German spa town of Baden-Baden, received a call to help a refugee boy in his class who had tried to kill himself. Ahmed*, a hard-working young man with dreams of becoming a nurse, had suffered from insomnia for weeks and there was no one other than the school to contact.

Wunsch took the teenager to hospital and gave him a room in his house to help him recover. “He hadn’t slept in a long time,” Wunsch says. “He was afraid and thought the police would take him away. He’s a friendly boy who gets through his homework and works well in a team, but when he can’t sleep he struggles to concentrate in class, so I worry about him.”

This academic term the school has taken in 60 refugee children, many of whom, like Ahmed, fled from places such as Syria, Afghanistan and Africa. When they arrive, the refugees attend welcome classes, learning German and practical tasks like how to get a tram or buy food in the supermarket. After a year, students combine classes in school with vocational training – for Ahmed this means working with nurses at the local hospital.

Source: No teacher lets them suffer: inside the German schools taking in refugees | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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