Refugees in Germany are basically illiterate World

Many refugees “basically illiterate” and will cause integration problems in Germany, warns Hamburg University President


Dieter LenzenOften it is argued that many professionals are included amongst Syrian refugees, but Professor Dieter Lenzen, Hamburg University President and Chairman of “Aktionsrats Bildung” (Action Council for Education) has warned this is a ‘great mistake’.

He states that the poor level of education among refugees entering Germany will cause considerable integration problems.

The proportion of Syrian ‘graduates’ is approximately 15%, as opposed to Germany’s 19% for a similar age grouping, but he suggests this is not where the problem lies.

Lenzen suggested the problem arises when we realise that 65% of working-age refugees can only operate on “reading comprehension level one by the PISA test”.  This means they are basically illiterate and cannot even read a bus schedule.

Lenzen drew attention to a study by the National Economy Professor, Ludger Woessmann.  He also drew attention to a report last May by the special council on “Integration through Education”.

The actual level of education of those entering Germany is still largely unknown.  Let’s face it, Merkel and her minions are struggling to even know where most have gone, but a fairly ‘uniform picture’ can be concluded from various sources, according to Ludger Woessmann.

“We unfortunately have to assume that two thirds of refugees from Syria have not been sufficiently educated to participate in a modern society,” Woessmann explained.

Data from Syria, for example, point to a poor achievement level of the education system. In international tests in mathematics and science conducted in 2011, 65% of Syrian 8th-graders did not even achieve a basic level of competence.  In Germany, the comparable figure is 16%.

Moreover, in previous waves of refugees around two thirds did not have a vocational qualification degree, versus just 14% of the German domestic population.

Prof. Dr. Ludger Wößmann, Ifo Institute.

Woessmann suggests that two thirds of refugees did not have ‘qualifying education’ from their country of origin.  He also suggests that one major barrier is language, with a huge financial burden likely to provide the required language courses (2 billion Euros per year being suggested as a likely cost).

He also suggests that, since the Syrian education system follows a US pattern, including vocational training in colleges, it was not strictly compatible with the German system.  This resulted in carpenters and other such practical vocations being turned away from the German university system.

A major problem was actually identifying who is eligible, or even has the ability, to study and to progress their education at university level.  This is easy with those who have a recognised university degree or suchlike, but since a large proportion of ‘refugees’ have thrown away or lost their documents, actually identifying suitable university entrants was almost impossible.

According to the law on university admissions in Hamburg, a maximum of 10% of ‘freshmen’ should be ‘stateless’ or non-EU foreigners.  This means “every refugee who has a place means that, for example, a Chinese has none”, Lenzen said.

How many UK universities could survive without ‘paying students’ from abroad?  If Germany is forced to favour refugees over these paying visitors, how can their university system cope financially?

The costs of supporting refugees is not merely in their food & housing, the cost of integration runs into large and lengthy bills – a fact often overlooked by the bleeding-hearts who would protest with their ‘refugees welcome‘ signs.

According to the Chamber of Crafts of Munich and Upper Bavaria, 70 percent of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq who had started an apprenticeship two years ago have already dropped out again.

“One to two-year partial qualification training courses, for example to become nursing auxiliaries or bricklayers, combined with simultaneous language courses could be a possibility. Realistically, however, we can expect the road to labour market integration to be long and stony, and one that will require pragmatic and flexible solutions in education and labour market policy,” Woessmann concluded.

Center for Economic Studies (CES), 04/12/2015.

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