Thursday, April 21, 2011

GERMANY - A school to celebrate the successful integration

On Friday afternoon, in Freiburg, southern Germany, the primary school is celebrating the launch Regenbogenschule courses for adults. In the hall, three cellists play a sonata by Handel. Facing them, five men sit in the front row, all bear Turkish names. In the second row, wearing colorful scarves, five women listen attentively.

The Regenbogenschule is a private school that opened its doors last summer. The first class of nine students. They are all children of immigrants, two of them have German mothers. The school is supported by the academic platform of Freiburg, an association founded by Turkish immigrants.

In town, it is referred to as "Turkish elementary school", to the chagrin of its founders, who would be open to all children. The school's principal, Özdemir, the presidents of the association, and Tuna Türk, and parents are all what might be called immigrants models: they regard themselves as a part of German society.

Özdemir grew up in the neighborhood of Trebizond [port city of Turkey on the Black Sea]. She followed her parents in Germany at the age of 16 and studied educational science, sociology and psychology. She remembers the advice of educational guidance service: "It would be nice to see more of Turks working in the social sectors." Özdemir's mother comes from an academic and his paternal grandparents were wealthy farmers.

"I know the conflict between modernity and tradition," said Özdemir. It is the conflict in which children of immigrant workers in Germany have grown. One member of the academic platform, Ilhan Cicek, 24, who runs a small kebab restaurant, knows whereof he speaks: "During my schooling, my father never attended a parent meeting.

My mother went there, but she did not speak German. " At the Regenbogenschule, courses are taught in German. Moreover, the teacher is German. Once a week only, Özdemir teaches Turkish to children because many have never learned. For them, it's a dilemma: many of them really well or learn their mother tongue nor German.

Yet launches Kemal Turk, 40, board member of the academic platform, "we are in Germany for longer than Angela Merkel." A joke, but that speaks volumes about the mindset of the founders of this school. Kemal worked at a wholesaler of Turkish products in Freiburg and his boss, Züriya Selvi, 42, is also a member of the institution.

Like other Turkish businessmen of the city, Züriya helped make possible the opening of the facility by making a donation. These men are doing exactly what all companies want their immigrants: they are involved. That did not stop the prejudices of rocket. The newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung headlined one day: "Islam under the banner of the rainbow?" [Regenbogen, the school's name means "rainbow"], while another newspaper, the Schwarzwälder Bote, in an article entitled "Between Islam and Integration", talked of a "supposed link" of association with Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher who lives in the United States and preached for "building schools, mosques, because there is enough".

Gülen's followers regard him as one of the few models in education among Muslims. Others believe that his only goal is to Islamize Western societies. Whatever one thinks of Gülen, one thing is certain: there is no teaching of Islam to Regenbogenschule. "Investing in the education of our children requires us to spend less money for our own needs," said Hafiz Dogan.

For their daughter is attending school, she and her husband pay 270 euros per month. But they chose this property because the care of children is better, and also their safety. They also believe that the public school their children would be less likely to succeed. We can estimate that their motivations are exaggerated or irrelevant, but the fact remains that these people are neither durable nor to the integration of the marginalized.

They just attach great importance to the education of their children and society in which they live. This summer, the Regenbogenschule open its second class. All hope of German parents will register them as their children.

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