Leene Soekov shows lack of awareness about SWALS

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European schools system

European schools system is like a never-ending maze of paperwork and bureaucracy.

It’s as if they believe that the more forms you fill out, the smarter you become. Secretary general and deputy secretary general are too busy worrying about their pensions and summer vacations to actually produce anything useful.

It’s a system where children are just tiny cogs in a big bureaucratic machine, and education takes a backseat to administrative tasks.

It’s time for a major overhaul, because right now, the European schools system is about as effective as a chocolate teapot.

Reply from worried parent to deputy director Leene Soekov

Dear Ms Soekov,

Your answer is not only very worrying but it also shows the lack of awareness about SWALS in general. Their history, language competences, many injustices they go trough in European School in particularly in secondary cycle. It is very difficult to expect humanity and fairness from the teachers if the only time you remember SWALS is when you segregate and never when you should include them in activities (like for instance L1 trips).

After 10 years in this school trying to educate about this very unfortunate status, the pluses and many minuses I am almost certain you don’t really know what I am taking about. Because if you did, I am convinced, you would not let this kind of things happen, seeing them simply as inhuman and unnecessary. (I was hoping your past experience would make my job as a SWALS representative easier and not so stressful as in the past.) I fear you and some of your teachers have very little idea about the SWALS abilities, their needs and also very little interest about their constant struggle to prove themselves worthy and equal to their peers. This kind of treatment leaves emotional scars and parents are the ones who have to deal with it…

You do know SWALS follow maths in L1 and not in L2, right? In fact all the subjects are followed in L1 of the section (with the exception of human science from S3 onwards).

I again urge you to rectify this mistake and include SWALS pupils as equally competent in this study. There are many non native speakers in the classes who are not SWALS but in your argument more capable, which simply doesn’t make sense. The fact that this is a Luxembourgish study where there are many nationalities speaking FR, DE or EN is actually an argument to include the SWALS and not the other way around.

Thank you in advance for reading my message and for considering a change in your perception of our children.

Kind regards

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960