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Lena, Stella, Ümmü und die anderen| 44mins
Director: Betty Schiel | Producer: Stefanie Goertz, Betty Schiel
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: Germany
Subject Tags: belief, community, education, europe, germany, human rights
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Lena, Stella, Ümmü, and "the others" attend the same class. The group forms a sociogram that is constantly moving, even if everybody seems to have his fixed role. Lena might be the boss, but possibly it is Stella who is actually deciding what's going on. Patrick is just observing. We cannot be sure what he thinks. The class room functions like a microcosm. The kids react sometimes quite extremely; small and large dramas unroll, moving, fascinating, and troubling. Class number three, school for mentally handicapped children in Gelsenkirchen Bulmke-Hüllen. Background Ninety percent of the pupils who attend a school for mentally handicapped children in Germany have a socioeconomic background with a level that lies beneath the working class. Many parents connect these schools with social disapproval. For many, it is embarrassing and, in their estimation, the potential of their kids is on a higher level. Migrants often do not know the concept of the German school for mentally handicapped children. In many cases, the families keep it secret that their child attends such a school. There is an important public debate in Germany about the heavily criticized education system. At stake is the selection of pupils after the primary school at the age of ten into different levels and the lack of integration of weaker students, standard practice in Germany, like many other countries. This is the reason the European Union and the UN criticizes the German system as a policy of disintegration. In a report, Mr. Vernor Muñoz, UN coordinator for human rights, denounced the deficiency of the German education system that causes disadvantages for children from poor families, migrants, and children with mental handicaps.

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