Germany has recruited 8,500 teachers to teach German to child refugees who have fled war and poverty.
As part of a new government scheme, some 196,000 children who are joining the country’s education system this year will take part in “special classes” designed to help them catch up with their German counterparts.
According to a report in The Times, the total number of refugees to have entered Germany in 2015 broke the 1 million barrier earlier this month, as the country struggles to cope with one of the most severe refugee crises since World War II.
The figure means five times as many refugees entered the EU in 2015 compared to the year before, many of which come from war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wants to “drastically reduce” the number of migrants entering the country.
The Minister of Education, Brunhild Kurth, told German newspaper Die Welt: “Schools and education administrations have never been confronted with such a challenge.”
“We must accept that this exceptional situation will become the norm for a long time to come,” she said.
While Germany has welcomed more refugees than any other country in Europe, there have been calls from politicians for the country to “regain control” of its borders.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned against lumping refugees in the same category as suspected terrorists, but said “it is important that we have more control again over who is entering and leaving Europe,” as the continent’s worst migration crisis since World War II worsens.
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