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Old 14.01.2009, 16:40
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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 17:28. Reason: grammar
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Old 14.01.2009, 16:47
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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, 16:57
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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, 17:06
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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, 17:41
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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, 17:49
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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, 18:19
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

I have a really big problem with people throwing everyone in one pot mainly due to their own bad experience.............

I have carefully read your initial post and if you behaved as agressive with the teachers of your child/ren as you come across to me in this post, then i can understand why you are on a bad footing with them. The average swiss simply blocks and baulks if someone is agressive in their tone and to them maybe comes across as very demanding.

The swiss school system is organised foederalistic,meaning that every Canton ,sometimes even every town and village has their own curriculum etc. So you can simply not throw the entire school system etc in one pot.

You mention in your initial post...' for the past three months'.... is this the time you have had troubles or the time your child/ren are in the swiss system?

Did you try to really learn about the swiss schooling system prior to moving here? Get all the info as in private versus public school, the curriculums etc etc etc

Switzerland,despite gloablisation has no law where it states that all info on schools has to be in english? After all, english is not a national language here. Despite it being the main language used at some international firms in Switzerland etc. It is not mandatory to issue this info in english. I dare say that in germany or austria for example this ain't the case either,but if i am wrong i stand corrected.

I am far from wanting to protect the teacher/s of your child/ren, in fact if the slapping really happened and the name calling as well, you stand a chance to have the teacher reprimanded,as far as i know it is not allowed anymore swiss wide to use physical punishment ( i will look further into that)

You can complain in writing , by listing all the incidents for example to the head teacher as well as to the Schulkommission, you can ask for what is called 'das rechtliche gehör' which is the right to be heard by the board officials,they can not deny you that.

I think, if you REALLY want the help of us forumers,it would be a good idea for a first to concentrate on YOUR story and problems, and not bring in other peoples problems, unless they write for themselves we can not judge or help where the problem may be or how to help with hints and tips. I understand your anger but it is not helping you or your problem.
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Old 16.03.2012, 22:48
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Calling him stupid chinese sure is an insult!
Sad but we have seen similar, we have also had one teacher grab our kids and others by the scruff of the neck..
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:44
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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 17:32.
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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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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, 17:56
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

You can put in with the school board to have your children sent to a different school - if you are so unhappy, then that might be an option, or bite the bullet and send them private. There are also private Swiss schools.
My daughter is in secondary school now and on her way to gymnasium. It hasn't always been easy, but on a whole I can't complain.
The other point is, how much rights need to be given to foreign children in the first place? This is Switzerland and the schools are geared for the Swiss standard and Swiss laws. Again, if you don't like it, send them private. This includes teaching English as a first language (not a national language), and the customs and holidays of other nationalities. There are only so many exceptions a system can make.
Bullying by teachers and the such like is certainly not tolerated in schools in the Bern area, neither is hitting. In this case, you can even complain to the youth services through your Gemeinde.
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Last edited by Starbug; 14.01.2009 at 17:56. Reason: bad structure
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:49
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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, 17:57
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

Thanks, that's exactly what we intend to do.

Yes am I am little cranky but heaven! he is just 8! I can not believe this people!
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:33
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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 17:24. Reason: grammar
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Old 14.01.2009, 16:53
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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 17.01.2012, 12:07
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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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.

I also have to disagree. We moved here 6 months ago from England and have put our 10 year old daughter into our local swiss school and have nothing but huge positive feedback and encouragement from the entire school, teachers and pupils. Our daughter is extremley happy and is learning the Swiss German so well she has been moved up out of the integration class into a 'typical class' with no problems at all. Its the best thing we did by putting our child into the local school rather than an international school. Could not be happier. We all love Switzerland. Im so sorry you have had a very sad and bad experience, but like the previous quote, maybe its the canton in which you live. Wish you all the best.
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Old 24.01.2012, 19:10
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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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.
you are saying that your kids are bilingual...her kids sounds like they have landed in Switzerland are struggling to be integrated and school doesn't help.
Language is a barrier and you need adults around you willing to help otherwise is an uphill battle...
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Old 07.02.2012, 19:40
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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you are saying that your kids are bilingual...her kids sounds like they have landed in Switzerland are struggling to be integrated and school doesn't help.
Language is a barrier and you need adults around you willing to help otherwise is an uphill battle...

This is so so true Kaminari- but parents have a huge place to play here too. A positive attitude from the parents towards the new culture and language plays an enormous role. If the children hear negative comments and feel negative vibes from home- it really does make positive inclusion very difficult.

Last edited by Odile; 07.02.2012 at 20:34.
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Old 12.02.2012, 12:37
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

We have two children aged 6 & 9 and they are currently at an international school but we feel the level of education they are getting is very poor and opportunities to do things like skiing, swimming etc are very limited. We are from the UK and have been here 9months and we are now seriously thinking about sending them into the Swiss system. Reading some of these posts has worried me does anyone live in the st gallen area and has had good experiences?
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Old 14.01.2009, 17:12
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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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