Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Primary school pupils were 'forced to recite Muslim Allahu Akbar prayer', according to an angry father

The parent said his daughter was told to learn the Islamic prayer at the school in German ski resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where it has been reported residents are 'suffering' due to a migrant influx.

A handout allegedly given to pupils read: 'Oh Allah, how perfect you are and praise be to you. Blessed is your name, and exalted is your majesty. There is no God but you.'

The girl was given the prayer during an ethics lesson at the school, according to the Express. 

Headteacher Gisela Herl said the school would issue a statement within a week but did not confirm the incident. 

With migrants now outnumbering native children in many German schools, tensions have risen in Bavaria. 

Last week a woman told MailOnline she did not feel safe in the ski resort town.

The woman living in Garmisch-Partenkirchen hit by a 'major migrant crime wave' has told how she carries pepper spray for protection because she no longer feels safe.

Barbara Plant said she will not go out alone at night in the town amid concerns over 250 migrants being housed in a disused army complex in the town.

Many other women in the Bavarian resort also say they are worried for their safety in what the mayor called 'an explosive situation' after police blamed a record increase in crime on asylum seekers.

'When it gets dark I stay indoors,' said Ms Plant, 59, who showed her can of pepper spray to MailOnline.

'I don't feel safe walking out at night anymore and that is because of the refugees.

'I have not experienced anything, but seeing groups of young men just makes it uncomfortable.'

Many other women in the Bavarian resort, pictured, say they are worried for their safety in what the mayor called 'an explosive situation' after police blamed a record increase in crime on asylum seekers

Ms Plant, who has lived in the town for over 30 years, is not alone in her fears.

Such were the large number of calls from worried residents to the town's mayor Dr Sigrid Meierhofer she was compelled to write a letter pleading for help to try and calm what she called an 'explosive situation'.

The letter sent to Bavarian politician to Maria Els was leaked to the local press leaving town officials to launch a damage limitation exercise.

In the bombshell note Meierhofer said her town of 27,000 people had 'massive problems' caused by the presence of the migrants. She was worried about public order and security in the town and in a cry for help added 'this is not to be ignored or tolerated.'

Meierhofer and other regional officials held a crisis meeting this week where it was announced police would step up street patrols in a bid to reassure residents.

The rising fear of crime stems from young male asylum seekers, the majority of whom are from Africa, living in series of disused US army buildings known as the Abrams Complex on the outskirts of the town.

Many have been in the secure camp for over two months surviving on a £120-a-month handout from the German government while they await notification of their asylum status. In the past six weeks police have responded to more incidents in and around the refugee camp than in the last 12 months.

Ethnic rivalries, frustration and boredom among the asylum seekers has been blamed for the spate of violence.

Thomas Holzer, the town's deputy police chief, said: 'There are brawls, fights and property damage. The migrants occupy the best Wi-Fi places, chose who sleeps in what room'

He said troublemakers have been moved out to other refugee camps in southern Germany but many residents in Garmisch-Partenkirchen fear the situation is only going to get worse if more arrive.

The town, less than 80 miles from Munich, close to the base of Mt Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, is heavily dependent on tourism - with 400,000 holidaymakers arriving to ski and hike.

Many business owners have now expressed concern that visitors will be put off from staying in the town if it gains a reputation for trouble involving migrants.

Thomas Helmbrecht runs a guesthouse less than half a mile from the Abrams Complex where the asylum seekers are housed.

He said he fears tourism will be hit when people learn about the problems with the refugees.

The 70-year-old is scathing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for opening the countries border and allowing the mass influx of foreigners. 'We are in a mess. This town now has problems that it did not have before,' he said.

'You hear people talking all the time about how they do not feel safe. I am glad the letter from the Mayor is out in the open as it means it will be discussed. The authorities can no longer keep it quiet.'

Mr Helmbrecht, who rents rooms for £45-a-night, predicted Chancellor Merkel will be ousted from power as a result of her migrant policy at next year's federal election.


Free College? Not So Much

A growing number of policy experts aren’t jumping on board Hillary Clinton’s tuition-free college plan for a number of significant reasons. Hillary estimates that her plan would give up to $500 billion more to public universities and colleges over the next decade. Clinton claims this is needed to combat growing student loan debt and the ever-increasing cost of higher education. (What she doesn’t say is that it’s a craven pander to Bernie Sanders Millennials.) While no one argues rising college tuition isn’t a concern, there is little evidence to suggest that making tuition free for most college students would lower costs or increase graduation rates.

Giving public colleges and universities more money doesn’t mean they will spend it wisely or efficiently. In fact, it only encourages greater tuition increases since it’ll be the government paying bill, not students. Free tuition also doesn’t produce higher graduation rates. Third Way, a center-left think tank, has reported that students with a modest amount of debt are more likely to earn a degree than those who have no debt. Neil McCluskey of the Cato Institute stated, “The less of your own money you spend on something, the less you tend to be focused on whether or not you’re doing the best, most efficient thing.”

There is also evidence that other countries offering free tuition have a lower percentage of students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math — all fields where jobs are expected to grow by 10% over the next decade.

Finally, what may be one of the most troubling aspects of Hillary’s plan is the estimated impact it would have on private colleges. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that private school enrollment would decrease by 11%, whereas public school enrollment would increase by 16%. This could effectively put some private schools out of business, so once again the government would be engaged in picking winners and losers. Americans would be wise to stop Hillary from doing to higher education what Barack Obama and the Democrats did to health care.


Australia: Walgett Community College, the 'worst school in the state' gets a fresh start

Wotta lotta ... !  How are new buildings going to solve behaviour problems?  Politicians don't or won't understand Aboriginal behaviour problems so they do the one thing they can: Build things

A school with a long and troubled history of violence and disadvantage has been given a fresh start as students moved into brand-new $9.2 million school facilities.

A viral video of teenage girls fiercely attacking a classmate in a classroom last year brought infamy to the remote north-western NSW school, Walgett Community College.

Students at Walgett High say their school has seen a dramatic turnaround since a time when regular fights left them feeling unsafe.

There were crisis meetings with the minister and education bureaucrats, more student fights during their visits and police were stationed in the school, which found itself thrust reluctantly into the media spotlight.

This was after Education Minister Adrian Piccoli​ had declared it "the worst school in the state" over the ruinous state of its buildings and facilities.

It wasn't just that. Attendance rates were abysmal, violent fights were common, teachers were subject to verbal abuse by students and the high turnover of principals had left a leadership gap and sour relations with the mostly Indigenous population in the town.

The students were hurt by the video and the media coverage. "That was just embarrassing," year 9 student Abbey Ashby, 14, told Fairfax Media this week. "It was pretty sad. It just made Walgett look bad."

But the school community celebrated a rare bright spot this week as they moved into brand new facilities built by the Department of Education under its Connected Communities Strategy, after what department officials say has been a stabilising year under new executive principal Karen McKinnon.

Year 9 student Raylene Kennedy, 14, said "It's better than how it used to be, it's safer. The learning, it's getting better. Nobody used to feel safe, 'cos there used to be so many fights. But now there's none."

The students are still the same, she adds, but they're behaving better.

Abbey, who wants to study nursing at university when she finishes school, said the new buildings were a major improvement on the old school. "It's just more like a learning space, [compared with] over there. You felt real crowded in."

The executive principal Karen McKinnon, who took over in October 2015, is being credited by the department for turning things around
in the school. She has worked in several remote and Indigenous schools, mainly in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Making the school safer, she said, is "about expectations and being consistent. There are rules and students know the rules and they know there are consequences if those rules aren't followed, and they know there's a consistency in the follow-up.

"So in this school, fighting has been reduced almost to none this year. That's because the consequences are out there, kids know, and they don't like to be suspended. In the end they recognise fighting isn't the answer."

The victories are small – Mrs McKinnon cites a year 10 student who was virtually never at school last year, who shows up "almost" every day now. They have been given the budget to hold a breakfast club every day at the primary school to make sure kids get a decent feed so they can concentrate in class. Staff say they are committed and feeling positive. And overall attendance rates have lifted a little from 68.9 per cent last year to an average of 72.5 per cent for 2016.

There are just 98 students enrolled in the gleaming new school which could house three or four times the number. But there are hopes for a resurgence. Walgett has a potential high school population of around 350 according to a census by the department last year, most of whom attend high schools elsewhere, driven away by the school's terrible reputation.

Signs of the old problems were scarce for Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's visit on Wednesday – his fifth as minister – but a groundsman let slip he'd been hard at work the night before scrubbing off graffiti and laying neat astroturf in the outdoor learning area.

New buildings can't fix everything, the minister conceded, but they make a difference. "I think you would walk in here as a student and feel like the system values you," he said.

"Aboriginal people on many occasions have been treated like rubbish and when you saw this school in its original state, given the vast majority of students were of Aboriginal background, you can't not make that conclusion.

"So here we've turned that around. I'd like to think that the students see this is an investment in them."

The minister said needs-based funding in NSW had seen an extra allocation of essential resources to schools like Walgett.

"They'd been able to get out of this crisis mode they've often been in. Lots of drama comes into these schools because of what's happening in children's homes and a lot of the time was taken just dealing with that stuff.

"A principal said to me recently we've been able to get out of our welfare mentality and into a teaching and learning mentality. That's music to my ears."

Trent Graham, the acting head of teaching and learning, said the staff saw the new buildings as an "positive opportunity to continue the change" they'd been working for. Time will tell if they can maintain it.

The intensive, individual approach is a lot of work for the teachers, he conceded. "But the kids are worth it."


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