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Start of ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’: New perspectives for refugee teachers

Published on 31. August 2017, 00:00 h
Bielefeld University and the Bertelsmann Foundation offer the first ever programme of its kind in NRW

Twenty-five trained teachers who had to flee from their home countries have started the ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme at Bielefeld University. Over the coming 12 months, 8 women and 17 men from Afghanistan, Armenia, Guinea, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria will be gaining further qualifications that will potentially qualify them to work in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ is a joint training programme at Bielefeld University in cooperation with the NRW Ministry of Education and Training and the State Coordination Office for Local Integration Centres in NRW. A further partner in the first ever programme of its kind in the federal state is the Bertelsmann Foundation.

25 geflüchtete Lehrkräfte haben in dieser Woche ihr einjähriges Qualifizierungsprogramm begonnen. Foto: Lehrkräfte Plus
This week, 25 refugee teachers have started their one-year qualification programme. Photo: Lehrkräfte Plus
Dr. Renate Schüssler, the ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ project manager, says: ‘The programme is for people who have already worked as teachers in their home countries. It will help them to orient themselves in the NRW school system while simultaneously gaining further qualifications.’ After successfully completing the programme, they might be able to work as substitute teachers in NRW. ‘These education professionals might also be recruited to teach a native language such as Arabic in a school in NRW,’ says Angela Müncher, who is responsible for the programme at the Bertelsmann Foundation. A third possible perspective for some participants is to go on to take a teacher training course in a further subject.

‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ is divided into two successive sections. First, participants will raise their existing knowledge of German to the C1 Level. At least a B1 Level in German is one of the preconditions for participating in the course. Second, after the intensive language course, participants will extend their subject knowledge and teaching skills in various pedagogic-intercultural courses. Lecturers at Bielefeld University have designed these courses for the programme. Participants will also be able to practice teaching in schools. They will do internships at schools in the region where they will be supervised by the teachers on the spot. ‘Throughout the course of the programme, we shall be giving the participants individual advice and counselling. We consider this to be decisive if we are to work out career perspectives for these women and men after completing the programme,’ says Renate Schüssler, who is managing the programme at the Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd).

After successfully completing the programme, participants will be awarded a certificate documenting their confirmed language proficiency as well as which individual ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme elements they have attended.

The programme is being funded for three years by the Bertelsmann Foundation. This makes it possible to run the programme three times at Bielefeld University from 2017 to 2020. There were 270 applications for the 25 places in this the first programme.

Further information:
•    On the ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme: www.bised.uni-bielefeld.de/LKplus
•    The Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd): www.bised.uni-bielefeld.de
•    Press release (19.06.2017) on the application phase for the ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme: https://ekvv.uni-bielefeld.de/blog/uninews/entry/training_programme_for_refugee_teachers

Contact:
Dr. Renate Schüssler and Kristina Purrmann, Bielefeld University
Project manager and project coordinator for ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’
Telephone: 0521 106-4234
Email: bised-LKplus@uni-bielefeld.de

Angela Müncher
Project manager at the Bertelsmann Foundation
Telephone: 05241 8181424
Email: angelamuencher@bertelsmann-stiftung.de

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