Thursday, November 23, 2006

Racial discrimation to the core

Wanted to log on today to vent my frustrations at what has been happening at the integration course. We had a government official who came by the school yesterday. Apparently my teacher explained that someone wrote the government an email, feedbacking about the integration course. Well, I did write an email to the government about 1 month ago, showing them photos of the castrophobic classroom. I do not know if this government official´s visit has got anything to do with the email I wrote, but I believe it was. Besides, the officer did reply my email saying that he will look into the matter.

So, this was what happened. The officer stood in front of the class and said that he belonged to the foreigners department - aka, he´s sorta like the human rights activist for foreigners in Germany and he asked if anybody had any feedback they wanted to make. The guys then started complaining about the caustrophobic classroom in which about 17 ppl are squeezed into every day. It gets worse in cold weather, cos the windows are closed.

The sad thing is that the gov. official did not even write down the stuff that we were saying. He merely listened - for those of us who´ve worked before, nothing is official until it is written down in black and white. I went up to the officer and said my main problem in this course is that it is WAY TOO SLOW AND WAY TOO BORING for fast-learners. I also explained to him my problem when I first started that the teacher was too slow with the syllabus (we still are) and there was no way I could start 1 or 2 months later, since there was all this bureaucracy with the government when it comes to subsidising the integration course.

He suggested that we go to the receptionist to ask if there was any solution to my problem - To which I know there is none already. The thing that disgusted me the most was that even before we said anything to the receptionist, she curtly told the government official, that she will not entertain any questions pertaining to the size of the classroom - so obviously Berlitz DOES know that they are discriminating against my class and just treating us like animals, squeezing us in a pathetic small classroom everyday! Which institution has the guts to talk to a gov. official like that? Isn´t the government supposed to be the ruling authority in the country? The integration course is a compulsory course for all foreigners and yet there is no control whatsoever about how it is being carried out! Taxpayers are paying for foreigners to learn german (gov subsidises about 70% of the fees)... and yet language school don´t give a xxxx about how to properly teach german to foreigners?

Examples of open discrimation:-

1) No using computer terminals
There is a computer room in which I saw other students surfing the internet during their breaks. I followed suit and when I used one of the computer terminals, my teacher came into the room to tell me that the computers are not for use for students. To which, I said I saw with my own eyes other students using it to surf the net, she blantantly ignored my comment and still refused usage for me.

2) No sitting on sofa at entrance of classrooms
There is a sofa at the entrance of the corridor of classrooms. Sometimes my friend and I will sit there for 5 or 10 mins during our breaktimes to talk - we didn´t want to remain in the caustrophobic classroom. We have been doing this for the past 2 months and suddenly today, I was informed my teacher (who was informed by the receptionist) that we are not allowed to sit on the sofa, cos the sofa is only meant for clients for Berlitz. I was like what??? U mean, we are not "clients"? We are students in the school, paying for our language course and we are not even allowed to sit on the sofa when NOBODY else is around? The other reason they gave is that the receptionist needs to work - hence she is disturbed when someone sits on the sofa?!? I was like thinking, if u work as a receptionist, u´re SUPPOSED to be work with ppl being around? What kind of an excuse is that?

3) 4 different teachers in 3 months
The integration course is only 50% done and in 3 months, there were 4 changes of teachers. Teachers came and left - they continued to teach in Berlitz but were somehow assigned to other courses. Which school starts a course with 20 ppl, paying about 300€ a month EACH, with NO responsible teacher? Its so distracting and unmotivating when teachers come and go like that?!?

Nobody gives a heck about the students in my class. Its so disgusting really. I had german class in Singapore before and I was so interested and motivated in my class. I had german for 1 whole yr together with working full-time in PWC. Now, I´ve been in integration course for 1 month plus and its sucking up all the interest I used to have in learning and picking up the language, just because of some ppl in the language school who treat ppl in my class as second-class citizens not worth of respect or dignity.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pris,

You should seriously think about changing schools or gathering together with the other students in the class to make a big complaint altogether to the school or at the office which sent you to that school.

Philip DTS said...

Hi dear Pris.. just remembered i have not said hi to Stephan and you ever since you guys flew to germany..

I read your blog and can see your frustrations.. yet i can only say this.. DTS was to train us all for such things.. bad treatment.. go back to God my dear sis and send your concerns to Him. whenever we receive unfair treatment, just take it in stride and actually if we handle it well, God is setting us up for a blessing!

I'm glad to have finally found your blog.. hows stephan? i'm leaving my blog address here too.. feel free to leave me msgs.. i can still pray for u guys yeah? ;O)

Steph Q said...

hi pris,

1 Peter 2:20
But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God

1 Peter 4:19
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

remember how studies on 1 Peter? hope the 2 verses encourages you. Look to Jesus for humility and grace to withstand injustice and hope in the Lord for His deliverance.

ur sis in christ always,

Priscilla Tews said...

Hey Philip!

Thanks a lot for the wonderful message! Wow, such a God-send timing! Heeheee... imagine the first time I hear from u is when I´m complaining left right centre abt how miserable my life is. I´m so happy u haf a blog too! Will save it in my links! How´s yr leadership sch coming up?

Priscilla Tews said...

Hi Stephanie!

Thanks so much dear from yr timely advice! U r always so wise and dispensing with such encouraging bible verses! Really shd consider becoming a bible teacher! heehee. How r u? How´s yr wedding prep coming up? U haven´t update yr blog in a long while! Miss u and everyone in cell! How´s Ryan settling into Singapore? R his wking hrs still as long as ever?

Beau Lotus said...

Hmm I must say that I didn't know that you couldn't sit on the sofa at the reception. And that the secretary should be so rude to you. I must admit that she was usually really nice with me, and last week when I told her that there was no way that I would take my class in the computer room, she scuttled to find me another one.

But like you said, they treat Berlitz clients differently. And they shouldn't since who knows if one of you wouldn't become a Berlitz client another time?

Otherwise, Berlitz's trademark is giving students different teachers. It is important for the accents as every teacher speaks differently - like in life.

I've been stuck with the same one since the beginning though - coz they couldn't find me another one. So you see, one man's meat is another man's poison.

Well, you'll have to be patient and study a little on your own, I guess. I am doing one-to-one coz I am a fast learner too, but it's boring not having others to talk to in class.


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