Germany recruits 8,500 teachers to teach German to 196,000 child refugees

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Germany has recruited 8,500 people to teach child refugees German, as the country expects the number of new arrivals to soar past the million mark in 2015, Die Welt daily reported on Sunday.

About 196,000 children fleeing war and poverty will enter the German school system this year, and 8,264 “special classes” have been created to help them catch up with their peers, Die Welt said, citing a survey carried out in 16 German federal states.

Germany’s education authority says 325,000 school-aged children reached the EU country in 2015 during Europe’s worst migration crisis since the second world war.

Germany expects more than a million asylum seekers this year, which is five times more than in 2014. It has put a strain on its ability to provide services to all the newcomers.

“Schools and education administrations have never been confronted with such a challenge,” Brunhild Kurth, who heads the education authority, told Die Welt.

“We must accept that this exceptional situation will become the norm for a long time to come.”

Heinz-Peter Meidinger, head of the DPhV teachers’ union, said Germany would need up to 20,000 additional teachers to cater for the new numbers.

“By next summer, at the latest, we will feel that gap,” he said.

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