BERLIN – Germany has recruited 8,500 people to teach child refugees German, as the country expects the number of new arrivals to soar past the million mark in 2015, the Die Welt daily reported Sunday.
With some 196,000 children fleeing war and poverty entering the German school system this year, 8,264 “special classes” have been created to help the new arrivals catch up with their peers, Die Welt said, citing a survey carried out in 16 German federal states.
“Some 8,500 additional teachers have been recruited nationwide,” the daily said.
According to Germany’s education authority, 325,000 school-age children reached the EU country in 2015, amid Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War II.
Germany expects over a millon asylum seekers this year, which is five times more than in 2014 and has put a strain on its ability to provide services to all the newcomers.
“Schools and education administrations have never been confronted with such a challenge,” Brunhild Kurth, who heads the education authority, told Die Welt.
“We must accept that this exceptional situation will become the norm for a long time to come.”
Heinz-Peter Meidinger, head of the DPhV teachers’ union, said Germany will in fact need up to 20,000 additional teachers in order to cater for the new numbers.
“By next summer, at the latest, we will feel that gap,” he said.