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German Turks vs. German Italians

Italian football fans
Italian football fans. Photo: flickr/pokpok313

Contrary to expectations, the children of (Catholic) German Italians perform worse in school than those of (Muslim) German Turks.[21]

57 percent of German Italian pupils attend Hauptschule (schools for less talented children) or Sonderschule (schools for children with a learning disability). The breakdown is as follows:

48.3 percent are in Hauptschule  
8.6 percent are in Sonderschule

For German Turkish pupils, the corresponding fıgure is 51 percent:

44.7 percent are in Hauptschule  
6.6 percent are in Sonderschule

For German pupils, it is 22 percent:

17.7 percent are in Hauptschule   
4.4 percent are in Sonderschule

Background: German Education System

The German education system is hierarchical and stresses early specialisation. Pupils are asked to choose between three main school systems after 4 years of elementary school:

Hauptschule (intended for those who intend to become laborers and craftsmen)

Realschule (intended for future employees without a university degree)

Gymnasium (opens the door to university education)

The German education system is analysed since 2000 in the so-called PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) assessment studies.

In a 2000 study of 32 countries PISA found that Germany was the country where social background was most decisive in determining academic success (). This particularly concerns migrants.

By 2007 the situation of children with migration background had not improved. The Spiegel’s article on the PISA study began with the headline: "World class in the discrimination of migrants."


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