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Old 16.01.2009, 23:39
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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for one vocal discontent client there are at least seven silent happy clients.
That sounds about right. I'd say that for every miserable, bullied child, there are probably about seven happy children in a class.

Perhaps they ought to stop whining when the teacher slaps them and calls them names, eh?

After all, the other seven kids don't have a problem with it...
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  #62  
Old 16.01.2009, 23:47
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Unfortunately my personal experience show that foreign children are at a clear disadvantage, all things equal. I.e. they all have Swiss German as one of their mother tongues. Sure, it is my personal experience and I may simply have really unlucky friends but when I comes to my own childrens future I'm not prepared to take any risks.



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Large? How large? Please entertain us with a study showing whether this "largeness" is actually large. Back in the days of marketing 101 they taught us that for one vocal discontent client there are at least seven silent happy clients.

So how actually efficient is the system?

Last edited by Tilia; 17.01.2009 at 10:49. Reason: should be disadvantage
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Old 17.01.2009, 00:20
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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We came here 7 years ago. Our eldest son was then 10. He did the test for deciding which level of secondary he would go to, and, as he'd only just started learning German, he didn't do very well. Fortunately, the principal of the secondär level recognized my son's potential, and let him go to pro-gymnasium. He's now at gymnasium doing very well.

BUT

Continually, he has had what can only be counted as harrassment from some of his teachers - because of his German language skills. Even in his last year at p.g. his biology teacher was saying he's not good enough to go to gym. It seems that some teachers, thankfully not all, have an absolute obsession that being really good at German is the only measure of intelligence and ability. Forget it if you're brilliant at French, English, Maths, Physics - occasionally using the wrong case is clear evidence that basically you're stupid. Funnily enough, Swiss kids don't get this treatment...
Of course they get this sort of treatment as well; the (state) school system in Switzerland has the target to select the best pupils. It hasn't anything to do with racism, but just with 'elitism'.
(I am not defending this, just try to explain...)

It is not only hard for foreigners to succeed, but also for children with a 'weaker' social background who don't have parents who are able to help them doing the exam preparations, or for children with learning disabilities etc. etc.

Why do the state schools select so rigorously?
Because the universities in Switzerland are (almost) for free to students, funded to 99% by the state.
Obviously for this reason they try to keep the student numbers very low, since it would just not had been possible to offer free university education for everybody.
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Old 17.01.2009, 01:04
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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...

I think it's got something to do with some Swiss have a real inferiority complex when it comes to German. I know many Swiss who'd rather talk to me in English than in Hochdeutsch - because they worry about German grammar.

...

That does confirm my own findings. And then some select to talk Schwyzertütsch with me and get slightly upset when I don't understand it. Pity.
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Old 17.01.2009, 01:06
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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...
Obviously for this reason they try to keep the student numbers very low, since it would just not had been possible to offer free university education for everybody.
... which, interestingly enough, backfires because they do not have enough university graduates to fill the positions in hospitals, banks, other enterprises, and have to import labor from Germany and other places. Then they complain about for large foreign / German influx, not realizing that they've created the problem themselves. But don't you dare criticize "them" ... it ain't appreciated.
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Old 17.01.2009, 01:16
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Has anyone spoke to the Swiss parents who are unhappy with the selection/state of schools? Why do you seem to think that only foreign participants are raising doubts or complaints? The parents of children being schooled here should put out their feelers and not automatically jump into discrimination mode.

That's the biggest problem, as I see it you don't even know what Swiss parents are worried about. If your really determined to provide your children with the best education possible you will take your worries into the community and state your case.

Simpler than it sounds, some of you must be bi-lingual, find a leader someone who can communicate. I read and constantly see reports on the BBC about parents who's children are at school in England where the main intake are Polish children or of other nationalities. Yes Parents worry. Yes parents fret. At the end of the day it's every parents responsibility to see that their children get a good education. It's not a Parents right that each country they decide to move to has a Taylor made program for their child.

Unless you can afford to go private.
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Old 17.01.2009, 01:24
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

[quote=MusicChick;382658] ... How actually efficient is the whole system when one has large online forums (the yahoo group mentioned earlier, etc) devoted to complaints about the treatment of foreign kids in Swiss schools? ...

MusicChick, did you actually visit the forum http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Swiss-Schooling/? It is not "devoted to complaints ..." but is a very positive discussion forum with a majority of positive views and constructive suggestions. Much more than this forum, in my opinion.

The introduction says it clearly: "This group is a place for foreign parents in Switzerland to discuss their children's experiences in the Swiss state schools. This should be a safe place to share with each other our joys frustrations, and to give receive helpful information. Swiss parents are welcome with open arms:-)"

Thinking in stereotypes, and generalizing from our own experiences, are habits which we should unlearn.

Graham
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Old 17.01.2009, 01:24
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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That does confirm my own findings...
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...and have to import labor from Germany and other places. Then they complain about for large foreign / German influx, not realizing that they've created the problem themselves. But don't you dare criticize "them" ... it ain't appreciated.
It ain't just not the constantly moaning Germans appreciated, who think Swiss(ies) have a general inferior complex towards them...

Cheers,
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Old 17.01.2009, 02:26
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Hmm...Does that one discontented customer even matter, then? I think she/he does, since that one voice can contribute to any necessary improvements. I think in an issue of human rights especially. With this relativity logic - it wouldn't matter that the poor kid got hit and bullied as all his classmates did not. Largeness is a funny word .
Of course the discontented custmer does count (however if I wanted to be cynical, most of the discontent "customers" you allude to leave the market shortly anyway). But if you ever took advanced maths, you'd know that the more variables you're trying to optimise for in a lagrangian equation system, the further you'd end up from the optimal solution.

If you haven't - please entertain me; exactly what human rights do you think are blatantly being breached here?
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Old 17.01.2009, 02:34
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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... which, interestingly enough, backfires because they do not have enough university graduates to fill the positions in hospitals, banks, other enterprises, and have to import labor from Germany and other places. Then they complain about for large foreign / German influx, not realizing that they've created the problem themselves. But don't you dare criticize "them" ... it ain't appreciated.
Would you rather like to subsidise and hire subpar Swiss university graduates - or rather import better ones from abroad, whose education you haven't had to pay for?

Maybe the actual complaint is caused by the actual state of the Swiss economy which generates enough labor not only for its domestic market but also for foreign workers. Geneva has 80'000 (yes, you read that right) positions that cannot be filled by local workers and are filled by Grenzgängers. Do you think that's due to a backfiring in the university selection and curriculum?
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Old 17.01.2009, 02:36
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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That sounds about right. I'd say that for every miserable, bullied child, there are probably about seven happy children in a class.

Perhaps they ought to stop whining when the teacher slaps them and calls them names, eh?

After all, the other seven kids don't have a problem with it...
Agreed. After all these reports of bullied children are so pervasive on the internets there must be some creedence lent to them, what?
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Old 17.01.2009, 02:47
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Agreed. After all these reports of bullied children are so pervasive on the internets there must be some creedence lent to them, what?
There's a fair few of them heard in schools, too, so it's clearly a problem.

And all the maths in the world isn't going to change that.
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Old 17.01.2009, 04:20
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Go and ask parents in Klingnau, Bad Zurzach, Uterendingen... the experiences are quite different..
I wouldn't want others to think that the school system in Kanton Aargau is exactly as you describe. For example, I know of a student, from the UK, of English mother tongue, who is in the 2nd Bez in Endingen and he has only lived in Switzerland for 3 years.

I have heard from others that the primary school in Tegerfelden is one of the best.

I don't know what village you are in (perhaps one of the above)but I know many "foreign" families living in villages in Kanton Aargau who are very happy with the local school.

It is unfortunate your experience has not been as positive, but rest assured that there are plenty of Swiss parents who have problems with their children in schools. Perhaps they just use a different approach to try and resolve their problems.
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Old 17.01.2009, 08:15
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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... How actually efficient is the whole system when one has large online forums (the yahoo group mentioned earlier, etc) devoted to complaints about the treatment of foreign kids in Swiss schools? ...

MusicChick, did you actually visit the forum http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Swiss-Schooling/? It is not "devoted to complaints ..." but is a very positive discussion forum with a majority of positive views and constructive suggestions. Much more than this forum, in my opinion.

The introduction says it clearly: "This group is a place for foreign parents in Switzerland to discuss their children's experiences in the Swiss state schools. This should be a safe place to share with each other our joys frustrations, and to give receive helpful information. Swiss parents are welcome with open arms:-)"

Thinking in stereotypes, and generalizing from our own experiences, are habits which we should unlearn.

Graham
Well, yeah - you are right. Even though for any conversation possible, there always will be stereotypes and generalisations.

I actually signed in and am waiting, I hope it isn't all negative as we want to place our child in a school here so I hope the sad incident was just a fluke.
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Old 17.01.2009, 08:40
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

One discontented customer against ten thousand satisfied might indicate that the problem lies with the one. The customer isn't always right.

Having said that, the one instance of "mobbing" that I've heard about, which took place in a village school, was fairly chilling. Especially as the teacher refused to do anything on the grounds that the victim was an foreigner.

All three of my kids have been subjected to (attempts at) bullying. The schools and teachers handled it well, and it was soon stopped. So much depends on where you live. But it isn't peculier to CH. In the UK I was reading recently of a blind kid being hit in the face by some unknown assailant and the school's refusal to take the matter seriously.
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Old 17.01.2009, 08:47
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Of course the discontented custmer does count (however if I wanted to be cynical, most of the discontent "customers" you allude to leave the market shortly anyway). But if you ever took advanced maths, you'd know that the more variables you're trying to optimise for in a lagrangian equation system, the further you'd end up from the optimal solution.

If you haven't - please entertain me; exactly what human rights do you think are blatantly being breached here?
I am glad that one cannot excuse violence against a minor in a class with some abstract math formulas, yay.

As for the human rights - go google. The concept of entertainment and breaching of human rights do not gel together in my world. I like it that way.

In terms of the op, there are teachers who use humiliation, violence and other abrasive methods with children, as a teacher myself I have enountered plenty (in the US, in Czech, it seems universal..) So the op mom has my sympathy, no matter how the post defines or goes against the swiss school system. It shines a bad, medieval light on the profession, what we can do is share info, raise our voices and be better teachers ourselves.

Truth is, I did not really expect it here in Switzerland, although I am taking classes myself and the teachers I have had were more intimidating, one threw a pen at an adult student, the other constantly yelled and belittled, I am not sure if it has anything to do with a cheap school or the fact we are foreigners, but I laugh it off and cramm. I only hope that what the op wrote does not characterize the system as we will have a school age child soon.

Howgh.
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Old 31.10.2009, 23:38
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Spanish school in Zurich area

Hello everybody,
it was really sad to know about swiss schools. We arrived not so long time ago and I`m looking for the spanish kindergarden (school). I`d like to ask if anybody know where i can find this such of information. Hope in Zurich not just only one. Will grateful for any help and advise. thank you in advance.
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Old 31.10.2009, 23:46
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Do read all the posts. It isn't any worse than anywhere else. It may even be better.
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Old 01.11.2009, 02:26
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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The right of integration, are you not aware that Muslim children are forced to the swimming classes, while their religion forbids such body exhibition.

is there anything preventing these Muslim children from emigrating to Saudi Arabia?
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Old 02.11.2009, 01:21
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Re: Spanish school in Zurich area

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Hello everybody,
it was really sad to know about swiss schools. We arrived not so long time ago and I`m looking for the spanish kindergarden (school). I`d like to ask if anybody know where i can find this such of information. Hope in Zurich not just only one. Will grateful for any help and advise. thank you in advance.
Do not look for a "Spanish Kindergarten" but contact the Kindergarten around you and talk with the teachers. Possibly check up with the "Sprachheilkindergarten" which is for children with slight problems in speaking or problems resulting from their original language(s) like using the TH unnecessarily. Or not using correct K or CH. The Kindergärtnerinnen in charge are better educated than those in the standard Kindergarten and generally are clearly superior. They also tend to have some basic knowledge of other languages. After that, you child(ren) will be above their colleagues in Standard German at least for years if not forever, even if not in dialect.
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