Another example of discrimination of SWALS students

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Discrimination and racism words
Discrimination and racism

It is unbelievable how new Mamer school management doesn’t have a clue about situation of minorities in the school.

New secondary Deputy Director Mrs Leene Soekov was asked to clarify why SWALS students are not allowed to take ICILS 2018 tests.


You can find her reply bellow:

Thank you for your email regarding the ICILS 2018.
Please be informed that it is the first time the study is conducted and it is meant for Luxembourgish school system. As we are piloting the test outside the national system we have included only the mother tongue speakers of DE, FR and EN and we have not included any of the students of our school whose second language is DE, EN or FR because of the complexity of the questions set up. The results will not be divided by L1 and L2 categories and we do not want to have the L2 speakers be in an unfair position compared to the mother tongue speakers.

Kind regards,

Leene Soekov


That is why I sent this email to the school director.

Dear Mr Frithiofson,

As you were informed by my wife there has been another example of discrimination of SWALS students. Your coordinator Mr. Gerhard Pelikan informed us that there will be ICILS test for S3 pupils, but only for native speaker. I thought it was just typo and all the children in the classes will be invited for testing since they are all studding math in L1 and (most of them) are in this sections from Maternelle on. It looks like SWALS students have good knowledge of the language to follow math classes and for the marks in the school but not good to take the test. Also pupils who were accepted by your school as good enough to have 6 hours of maths next year can’t take test since Mr. Pelikan thinks they will not be able to understand test questions (?!).
This week Mr. Pelikan explained to French pupils that they are not allowed to take tests since their knowledge of language 1 is not adequate. This was highly inappropriate and would require reaction from the school’s management.

There are constant problems with Mr. Pelikan’s understanding of SWALS status (rights and (if any) privileges). Three years ago he was involved in a scandal with his racist behaviour and mismanagement of SWALS students in S1 at the beginning of the school year. You can read about it here.

I would appreciate your quick reaction to include all S3 students for testing since It is general behaviour of this school to wait till the event is over and then reply to parents that unfortunately it is to late to do anything. If you are not sure if their language skills are good enough for testing you can consult their math teachers.

As you can see from the reply from the deputy director she also doesn’t understand the situation of SWALS students. Math is taught on the same level for all students.

Thank you and kind regards,
Gregor Prajs

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