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Old 14.01.2009, 17:40
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Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Hi there,
This is something I am so tired of, for three months all I have heard is complaints from expats parents with children in the Swiss public school system.
Personally I think the system is complete disaster, has no head at all and is meant to punish you for being foreign.
Children are mistreated, insulted, criticized, and damaged by an absurd system that still stuck in 1940!
Foreign children, independently of their capacities are placed in the lowest school level, this decision is made without considering the child capabilities but their non-Swiss upbringing condition.
Parents and children are bullied by teachers and Principals.
All the information is in German, Italian or French. There is no where to look for your rights and you normally start fighting from the very first day.
Today more than 20% of the population in Switzerland is foreign, and yet no Swiss laws assure the rights of this people. (as far as I know)
In Switzerland Children’s rights were ratified by Switzerland on the 24th February 1997 and entered into force on the 26th March 1997, as Article 11 of the Federal Constitution (These rights and obligations are largely derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) but as I can see everyday verbal abuse is not part of this agreement., apparently
If out there are any parents undergoing such stressful experience, please share it. So other can know that they are not alone.
If your experience has been quite nice share it too, and give hope to others.
If you have any knowledge regarding non-profit organizations, lawyers, public institutions that can support desperate parents share that knowledge here, please.

Personally I regret with all my heart our landing in Switzerland, in my opinion if you have children, this is not the place where you want to move your family.
I will homeschool my children if I have to, no one is going to call my child "donkey", "idiot" or similar and get away with it. No one will tear his homework in front of the class and tell that is garbage.
There are many "Sick" people out there. I have met some very nasty ones, but to be fare I met ONE wonderful person too.
That;s it, now let it flow...
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Last edited by Judith Margaret; 07.03.2009 at 18:28. Reason: grammar
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:47
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Today more than 20% of the population in Switzerland is foreign, and yet no Swiss laws assure the rights of this people.
What rights should foreigners have that are not currently assured by law?
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:53
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

I'm sorry, I have to disagree. Our girls, now 9 and (almost) 11 have been in the Swiss school system from day 1 and are doing very well thank you very much. Having said that, they were born here and have grown up complately French-English bilingual. Some of the teachers they have are excellent and the curriculum is very streamlined, meaning they could switch schools with virtually no disruption to their education. They are not discriminated against, abused, criticised or insulted at all.
I'm sorry that you have a bad experience of the Swiss public school system, maybe that's unique to the schooling in your canton, but ours is very positive.
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:57
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

"Judith Margaret". For a freelance writer, yous spelllling is well bad, init.

But seriously, you can't just blame the whole school system and speak on behalf of other parents too.
I just think you have had a bad experience.

Sounds like you are more homesick than anything.

Hope it gets better.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:06
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

Like PaddyG, our experiences have been good.

Having said that, there are some bad teachers at my daughter's school, but as far as I know, they don't verbally abuse the kids.
The Swiss system is far from perfect - and I have heard some horror stories from other expats, but is the British system perfect??

I think if I were you, Judith Margaret, I would look for another school in the area.
They are not all bad!
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:12
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Hi there,
This is something I am so tired of, for three months all I have heard is complaints from expats parents with children in the Swiss public school system.
Personally I think the system is complete disaster, has no head at all and is meant to punish you for being foreign.
Children are mistreated, insulted, criticized, and damaged by an absurd system that still stuck in 1940!
Foreign children, independently of their capacities are placed in the lowest school level, this decision is made without considering the child capabilities but their non-Swiss upbringing condition.
Parents and children are bullied by teachers and Principals.
All the information is in German, Italian or French. There is no where to look for your rights and you normally start fighting from the very first day.
Today more than 20% of the population in Switzerland is foreign, and yet no Swiss laws assure the rights of this people. (as far as I know)
In Switzerland Children’s rights were ratified by Switzerland on the 24th February 1997 and entered into force on the 26th March 1997, as Article 11 of the Federal Constitution (These rights and obligations are largely derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) but as I can see everyday verbal abuse is not part of this agreement., apparently
If out there are any parents under going such stressful experience, please share it. So other can know that they are not alone.
If, for a change, your experience has been quite nice share it too, and give hope to others.
If you have any knowledge regarding non-profit organizations, lawyers, public institutions that can support desperate parents share that knowledge here, please.

Personally I regret with all my heart our landing in Switzerland, in my opinion if you have children this is not the place where you want to move your family.
I will homeschool my children if I have to, no one is going to call my child "donkey", "idiot" or similar and get away with it. No one will tear his homework in front of the class and tell that is garbage.
There are many "Sick" people out there. I have met some very nasty ones, but to be fare I met ONE wonderful person too. The DAZ (Deutsch als Zweitsprage) teacher is "human", but she is used to foreign kids and she sees us with different eyes. (She lived abroad to 10 ears too, that helps too!)
That;s it, now let it flow...
I am sure you can take your complains to a schoolboard or the "gemeinde".Maybe the teacher witch you think is nice can help you.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:29
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Hi there,
This is something I am so tired of, for three months all I have heard is complaints from expats parents with children in the Swiss public school system.
Personally I think the system is complete disaster, has no head at all and is meant to punish you for being foreign.
Children are mistreated, insulted, criticized, and damaged by an absurd system that still stuck in 1940!
Foreign children, independently of their capacities are placed in the lowest school level, this decision is made without considering the child capabilities but their non-Swiss upbringing condition.
Parents and children are bullied by teachers and Principals.
All the information is in German, Italian or French. There is no where to look for your rights and you normally start fighting from the very first day.
Today more than 20% of the population in Switzerland is foreign, and yet no Swiss laws assure the rights of this people. (as far as I know)
In Switzerland Children’s rights were ratified by Switzerland on the 24th February 1997 and entered into force on the 26th March 1997, as Article 11 of the Federal Constitution (These rights and obligations are largely derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) but as I can see everyday verbal abuse is not part of this agreement., apparently
If out there are any parents under going such stressful experience, please share it. So other can know that they are not alone.
If, for a change, your experience has been quite nice share it too, and give hope to others.
If you have any knowledge regarding non-profit organizations, lawyers, public institutions that can support desperate parents share that knowledge here, please.

Personally I regret with all my heart our landing in Switzerland, in my opinion if you have children this is not the place where you want to move your family.
I will homeschool my children if I have to, no one is going to call my child "donkey", "idiot" or similar and get away with it. No one will tear his homework in front of the class and tell that is garbage.
There are many "Sick" people out there. I have met some very nasty ones, but to be fare I met ONE wonderful person too. The DAZ (Deutsch als Zweitsprage) teacher is "human", but she is used to foreign kids and she sees us with different eyes. (She lived abroad to 10 ears too, that helps too!)
That;s it, now let it flow...
Judith, I must chime in with the opposite experience, my kids, 9 and 11, both US/UK citizens but born here, have had excellent experiences in school, and the education system here is one of the main reasons we have decided to stay in Switzerland as opposed to moving back to the US or UK. Of course being born and raised here, our kids are indistinguishable from local kids, speak perfect dialect, (with the exception that they are also fluent in English, which is a kind of irony after they introduced English as the first foreign language taught beginning grade 2, coinciding with my daughter's entry into the second grade..she helps the teacher out now).

Of course we have had a few run-ins with a specific teacher, but I blame it more on the teacher than on the overall school, school-system or Swiss culture. It is that way everywhere, the individual teacher is what makes the difference more than the school itself.

Of course we are in Kanton Zurich, I have no idea how schooling is out in the countryside or in other regions of Switzerland.

We do have friends who had big problems with their daughter in a local school out in Kanton Aargau, they ended up pulling her out and home-schooling her then sending her to Montesorri where everything worked out great. Problem of course it is an expensive alternative.

Could it be this kind of problem is teacher or school-specific, and could therefore have happened anywhere?

At least the kids grow up here bi (tri) lingual. Try that in the US or UK.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:33
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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What rights should foreigners have that are not currently assured by law?
Well many, they doubt everything foreign.

Last edited by Judith Margaret; 07.03.2009 at 18:24. Reason: grammar
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:38
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

But born here, and go to school in Kanton Zurich...that sure is different.
My kids are already tri-lingual going for the fifth and sixth language, we have lived in four different countries, and never had the nasty experiences we are having in here.

Last edited by Judith Margaret; 07.03.2009 at 18:31.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:40
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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I am sure you can take your complains to a schoolboard or the "gemeinde".Maybe the teacher witch you think is nice can help you.
Nope it did not, when the teacher hit my child (she slapped him in front of the class) the board said that Switzerland agrees with certain amount of discipline in the classroom...
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:41
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Like PaddyG, our experiences have been good.

Having said that, there are some bad teachers at my daughter's school, but as far as I know, they don't verbally abuse the kids.
The Swiss system is far from perfect - and I have heard some horror stories from other expats, but is the British system perfect??

I think if I were you, Judith Margaret, I would look for another school in the area.
They are not all bad!
Calling him stupid chinese sure is an insult!
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:43
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Well many, they doubt everything foreign.

[...]

clear enough?
Frankly, not very. So let me repeat:

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What rights should foreigners have that are not currently assured by law?
What are these "many rights" you feel foreigners aren't enjoying whereas Swiss nationals are?
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:44
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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"Judith Margaret". For a freelance writer, yous spelllling is well bad, init.

But seriously, you can't just blame the whole school system and speak on behalf of other parents too.
I just think you have had a bad experience.

Sounds like you are more homesick than anything.

Hope it gets better.
It might be because this is my fourth language and not one of my two mother tongs, so bear with it.

Homesick, no.
Can I talk for other, yes I can, freedom of speech.

By the way do you have any kids in the system?

Last edited by Judith Margaret; 07.03.2009 at 18:32.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:44
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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but born here, and go to school in Kanton Zurich...that sure is different.
Go and ask parents in Klingnau, Bad Zurzach, Uterendingen... the experiences are quite different.

(My kids are already tri-lingual going for the fifth and sixth language, we have lived in four different countries, and never had the nasty experiences we are having in here.)
I think what the forum members are pointing out is that your experience with the school system here, is not what everyone has. There has been some good experiences with school system here and some bad. I think it is typically of any country. Where have you lived previously.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:45
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Frankly, not very. So let me repeat:



What are these "many rights" you feel foreigners aren't enjoying whereas Swiss nationals are?

The right of integration, are you not aware that Muslim children are forced to the swimming classes, while their religion forbids such body exhibition.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:46
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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I think what the forum members are pointing out is that your experience with the school system here, is not what everyone has. There has been some good experiences with school system here and some bad. I think it is typically of any country. Where have you lived previously.
US, UK Finland and China
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:47
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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It might be because this is my four language and not one of my two mother tongs, so bear with it.

Homesick, no.
Can I talk for other, yes I can, freedom of speech.

By the way do you have any kids in the system?
I think you need to calm down a bit.
Dont take offence at opinions which dont agree with yours. Freedom of speech let us say what you want to say not to say on behalf of others.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:49
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

This makes my blood boil when I hear such a story. There is very little help in CH for such matters. My advice would be - sod the school board (in our county - AG -the school board is made up of other parents, that is a real joke) - go to the school director and demand change! Go to the "gemeinde" (council authorities) and demand help - you are paying your taxes to that county council. If you don't speak German get someone to accompany you who does. Don't give up. Speak up loud and clear until you are treated properly. Good luck.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:49
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

I do and have had nothing but positive experiences. They are still young though and at Kindergarten level. I have friends with older children though and they are all completely happy.

Sounds like you've landed in a bad place. I hope it gets better for you.
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Old 14.01.2009, 18:52
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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.
So do you argue that children would integrate better by being incentivised to live in virtual, intellectual, ghettos miles away from the children around them? Interesting.

As a matter of fact religious discrimination is ruled against in the Constitution, so I'm pretty much sure no one is "forced" to swimming classes to that extent - considering that even in the days of yore when I went to school girls were excused from swimming lessons "at certain times of the month".

Are there not Muslim swimsuits out there?
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