Court Orders Foreign Student to Attend German Public School

By Sean Cavanagh — October 26, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A regional court in Germany that heard the case of a Jordanian child seeking to attend an Islamic school has ruled that the children of foreigners within its jurisdiction must attend public schools.

The decision, announced by German court officials late last month, said that allowing children of foreigners to attend private schools would encourage the development of parallel societies, rather than cultural integration.

German officials, however, offered different interpretations of the scope and meaning of the ruling.

A written statement issued by the court for the Rhineland-Pflaz region, known as an Oberverwaltungsgericht, suggested that the ruling would prevent children of foreigners who have moved to Germany and established permanent residence from attending private schools. That ruling would not apply to judicial regions outside Rhineland-Pflaz, said Manfred Stamm, a spokesman for the court, located in the west German city of Koblenz. The decision also would not apply to students who are living temporarily in the country, he said, such as children of diplomats.

But Patricia Krieger, an official with the ministry of education in Rhineland-Pflaz, said in an e-mail that children of foreigners in that region could still attend private schools, as long as those institutions were accredited by the German government.

The child in the case was attending a Muslim school in Bonn that has come under increasing scrutiny from the German government, according to numerous media reports. German officials have alleged that the school has encouraged religious extremism and rejected secular instruction.

The ruling meshes with recent societal and political trends in Germany, said Luise McCarty, an associate professor of education at Indiana University Bloomington, who has studied school policy in that country. With the arrival of new immigrants, particularly from Russia and the former Soviet republics, political leaders have sought ways to help newcomers learn German and fit into society, believing it will strengthen the country economically and culturally, said Ms. McCarty, a native of Germany.

Coverage of cultural understanding and international issues in education is supported in part by the Atlantic Philanthropies.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International What the Research Says How Nations Can Repair Pandemic Damage to Students' Well-Being, Trust in Government
International data suggest the pandemic has marginalized young people in many countries.
3 min read
Image of high school students working together in a school setting.
International What the Research Says Schooling in a Pandemic: How Other Countries Are Doing It
A new study highlights how instruction in 11 countries has changed following pandemic closures and outbreaks.
3 min read
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has lifted the restrictions on schools in Russia's capital, students of all grades will to return for face-to-face education after months studying remotely.
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow last January. Russian schools had relatively shorter periods of academic disruptions than other countries, a new study finds.
Pavel Golovkin/AP
International Opinion Why Other Countries Keep Outperforming Us in Education (and How to Catch Up)
Money from the American Rescue Plan could be our last chance to build the school system we need, writes Marc Tucker.
Marc Tucker
5 min read
A student climbs stacks of books to reach the top
Tatyana Pivovarova/iStock/Getty Images Plus
International Global Test Finds Digital Divide Reflected in Math, Science Scores
New data from the 2019 Trends in International Math and Science Study show teachers and students lack digital access and support.
3 min read
Image of data.