Turkish courses to be offered in German schools

Turkish courses to be offered in German schools

German authorities are looking to launch a pilot project that would expand Turkish language training in German high schools as part of offered foreign languages, according to a decision made by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg’s government.

The project is scheduled to start in the school year of 2015-16, and will focus on allowing wider access to Turkish language courses in gymnasiums, the required institutions for pre-university education, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

The federal state of Baden-Wüttemberg, with a provincial government consisting of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Alliance ‘90/The Greens, is the federal state with the second highest amount of immigrants in the country.

Around 40,000 citizens with Turkish backgrounds reside in the state, governed by the social democrats. Baden-Württemberg high schools already offer Russian, Italian and Spanish as third foreign languages, but not Turkish.

The Greens Party is known to be an advocate of expanding language options in educational institution throughout Germany, and supports adding the Turkish language to schools’ curriculums.

Muhterem Aras, a deputy of the state parliament, said the “the promotion of inherited languages” should start as quickly as possible.

“The earlier the promotion of the inherited languages starts, the better,” Aras was quoted as saying.

One of social democrats’ major lines of advocacy focuses around the low percentage of Turkish students that attend gymnasiums, which ultimately affects the number of Turkish students with a university degree. The numbers show that only a minority of 12 percent of Turkish students choose to go to gymnasiums, a vital step for universities, as opposed to Germany students where the rates reach as high as 50 percent.