Living in Germany as a permanent resident awaiting citizenship, I've been on the position in this internal debate of German military presence in the world or just within Germany's borders, as keeping the military within the borders. I don't know what the Chancellor was thinking when she sent the German Navy to Lebanon. No, I do know what she was thinking. She is on the other side of this debate that German forces have a responsibility to Europe and the UN to participate in peacekeeping missions overseas.
The German military is currently in the Former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan - with a scandal there brewing in the German press: Published photos of German soldiers desecrating a skull in Afghanistan have triggered a full blown image crisis for Germany. Officials are struggling to minimize what they fear could be major consequences. Also, they are in Congo, and now Lebanon. Aside from the growing scandal, on the surface, it may seem like a good idea, we should all support irradicating things such as genocide in places like Dafur and this is an opportunity to show that Germany is now committed to stopping such things rather than the old wounds of inflicting them.
Well, it is exactly those old wounds that trouble me. Especially in Lebanon. We all know, and without judgements to whether it is right or wrong - that's for a separate diary that when it comes to issues of Israels borders, security, and the IDF, that Israel is very aggressive in pursueing those issues. In response to threats by French forces to open fire on IAF overflights, Peretz said, "we will in no way take these threats, and we've made that clear in conversations with all parties.
Now my concern is this. In modern Naval warfare, as the Falklands clearly demonstrated, one hit on a vessel is likely to be catastrophic. There isn't much time due to the speed and velocity of naval weapon systems and their corresponding counter-measures. Normally in a warzone there is no question to return fire, but with peacekeeping the ROE rules of engagement are more complicated and demand human decision making.
There was already a lot of debate in this country about sending ground troops to Lebanon and what would happen if German troops were forced to come into conflict with Israeli troops. This is why the Navy was sent instead. The implications of a conflict between German and Israeli troops, or more plainly put, between Germans and Jews, is not lost on neither the German population nor the German Bundeswehr. Nevertheless, Israel reaffirmed that the Germans are most welcome and for their part, they are not thinking of the past - however, the Germans are.
Whether it turns out that the Israelis fired or not is really irrelevant. What is relevant is the position that German forces are put into when they must decide to return fire on Israeli forces and whether it is self-defense. For a German skipper of a Naval vessel this is a very heavy burden as he or she would be the first to engage in combat against Jewish forces since WWII. Is that a decision that can be made in the few seconds necessary to defend one's ship? What is the human hesitancy factor here? The Catalan independence movement is deeply divided between pragmatists and idealists and the optimism inherent in the movement since has been shattered.
However, the grievances that produced the turn to secession in Catalonia have not even begun to be addressed and no meaningful resolution of the Catalan question will occur until the Madrid government recognises that it is a political problem. A contemporary Robinsonade — York, York. The polar oceans and global climate — Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
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Andrew Dowling , Cardiff University. A protest on March 25 in Catalonia against the arrest of Carles Puigdemont. Read more: Catalonia's cultural struggle against Madrid goes back centuries Opinion polls aside, there has never been a majority support for independence in any regional election held since , leading to a questionable legitimacy. Read more: Why independence movements in Scotland and elsewhere are tongue-tied over Catalonia With Spain hostile, any separation of Catalonia could only be highly destabilising, with potential knock on effects in a Europe gradually recovering from the financial crisis.
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Translation of "Hey, Hübscher" in English
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They show them around the school and introduce them to older students. In the case of boarding schools, they also show them the city. The mentoring does not mean a student is seen as being "at risk". On the contrary, if there is a mentoring programme, all new students are likely to have a mentor. Some schools have mentors mostly alumni or parents who help graduates choose a college and who arrange practical training for them. In , a mentoring programme called "Arbeiterkind" "working-class child" was founded to assist students from working-class families make the transition.
A year later, this organization had mentors and 70 local chapters. Members may be parents and alumni, or philanthropists. They pay for books for the school library and offer a hand to students from less affluent families, affording them the opportunity to participate in field trips and school outings.
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In general, to obtain a teaching degree for Gymnasia, prospective teachers have to study at least two subjects which are part of the curriculum of the gymnasia. Some decide to study three subjects or more. In addition, the university programmes for teachers always include lectures on educational sciences and didactics. After nine semesters 4. However, having passed this test does not qualify someone at once to become a gymnasium teacher.
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This education is followed by the Referendariat training on-the-job , which normally lasts for 18—24 months. During this time, the student teacher gains practical teaching experience under the supervision of experienced colleagues. This phase is completed by the "Zweites Staatsexamen", which assesses the trainees' practical teaching ability. Those having successfully completed both the first and second state examinations may then apply for a position at a Gymnasium or lesser schools.
One trend is the abolishing of the first state examination in favour of Master of Education programmes. The second state examination is not affected by this development. Admission procedures vary by state and gymnasium. Most gymnasia do not have written entrance exams. In some cases, students need a certain grade point average in order to apply to gymnasium.
In most cases, students applying to a gymnasium nominally need a letter of recommendation written by the primary school teacher. The letter covers the child's academic performance, classroom behaviour, personal attributes, leadership abilities and extracurricular activities. Based on that letter, the gymnasium determines the applicant's suitability for the school. Some gymnasia have informal interviews during which they present their school to the applicant and in turn, learn about him as the school representative works with the applicant and his parents to find out if that gymnasium is a good fit for the child.
Any qualified child can enter the lottery, regardless of previous school performance see: Education in Berlin.
Some gymnasia are inundated with applications and some children have to resort to second or third choices. State-funded schools a big majority are tuition-free, as foreseen by the respective laws, even often on constitutional level.
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Segregation of students by parent wealth or income is looked down upon, to the point of being an exception to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom to have private schools Article 7 section 4 of the German constitution, Sondierungsverbot. Of the private gymnasia, the vast majority is run by the Catholic Church on very low tuition fees which is more easy as by Concordat , the Church receives a high percentage of the amount of money the State need not spend for a pupil in a Church-school ; fees for schools who need to earn money by teaching are higher.
Schools with fees generally offer scholarships. This is less than what was spent on a student attending Hauptschule , but more than was spent on those attending Realschule. While one third of all German youngsters have at least one foreign-born parent  and other German schools are becoming more multicultural, gymnasia have remained more or less socially and ethnically exclusive. However, that is only half the truth. Children belonging to Russian-Jewish, Chinese, Greek, Korean or Vietnamese minorities    are more likely to attend a gymnasium than ethnic Germans. Yet, most minorities are less likely to attend a gymnasium than ethnic Germans.
According to Der Spiegel magazine, some minority students were denied a letter of recommendation for entrance to a gymnasium by their teachers simply because they were immigrants. According to Der Spiegel , teachers think minority students would not feel at home at a school having such a homogenous student body. There have been calls for the abolition of the gymnasium and a switch-over to comprehensive schools. Some believe that gymnasia are "the great equaliser" and have pointed out that state-funded and parochial gymnasia have helped many students rise above humble backgrounds.
Some also point to the fact that gymnasia are the only schools where working-class students nearly catch up with their middle-class peers, while in the case of comprehensive schools, the effects of social class on student academic performance are more pronounced than in any other type of school. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study revealed that working-class children needed to achieve higher reading scores than middle-class children in order to get letters of recommendation for entrance into the gymnasium.
After testing their reading abilities, the odds for upper-middle-class children to be nominated for a gymnasium were 2. Even when comparing children with the same reading scores, ethnic Germans were still 2. According to the PISA study, competency was linked to social class. After allowing for cognitive competency, middle-class children were still attending gymnasium at three times the rate of working-class children.
After allowing for reading competency and cognitive competency, children from the highest social class still attended gymnasium at four to six times the rate of working-class children. According to the study, immigrant children were not discriminated against. The reason so few immigrant children attended gymnasium was poor reading skills. After allowing for reading competency, children from immigrant families were as likely as children from native German families to attend gymnasium.
The German scientist Lehmann did a longitudinal study on the performance of pupils in Berlin in standardised tests. Such pupils used to be admitted to a gymnasium after the fourth grade and after the sixth grade. Pupils in German schools do not undergo standardised testing, but rather write essays. However, Lehmann wanted to know if those test results would predict the likelihood of admission to a gymnasium after the sixth grade and if admission to a gymnasium after the fourth grade would boost their performance in standardised tests.
According to scientists Joachim Tiedemann and Elfriede Billmann-Mahecha, there was a big-fish-little-pond effect. Children were more likely to have their teacher write a letter of recommendation if the remainder of their primary school class was not too bright. They stated,. In , a study revealed that lower-class and working-class children attending a comprehensive school lagged behind their less disadvantaged peers in terms of mathematical abilities. The same study revealed that working- and lower-class children attending gymnasium nearly caught up to their peers attending the same school.
A study done by Helmut Fend revealed that gymnasium may not matter as much as is generally perceived. According to the study, parents' social class, not schooling, determined children's life trajectories. The study revealed that upper-middle-class children graduating from gymnasium and upper-middle-class children graduating from comprehensive schools later graduated from college and followed the footsteps of their parents into higher professional jobs. It also revealed that for every working-class child who graduated from college, there were 12 upper-middle-class children who did.
Only a few specialised gymnasia admit their students on the basis of IQ tests. A study revealed 10th graders attending a normal gymnasium and 10th graders attending a Realschule had higher IQs than 10th graders attending a comprehensive. It also revealed that the difference was greater in 10th grade than it had been in 7th grade.
The institute also stated that the IQ difference between comprehensives on the one hand and gymnasia and Realschulen on the other was greater by 10th grade than in 7th grade because the mean IQ of those at gymnasium and Realschule had risen. The institute did not believe, however, that attending Realschule or gymnasium boosts students' IQ.
Instead, they stated that students with lower IQs who attend gymnasium or Realschule might find themselves increasingly unable to keep up and thus may drop out by 10th grade. As has been mentioned before, gymnasia and Gesamtschulen in Germany do not administer standardised tests to their students and few students are familiar with those kinds of tests.
Yet, scientists sometimes use standardised tests to evaluate schools. That equals 2 to 3 years of schooling. They have said comprehensives taught their students "Independence, capacity for team work, creativity, conflict management and broad mindedness" and that those qualities cannot be measured on standardised tests.
According to a disputed study evaluating students' character, based on a standardised test, those attending a Realschule or gymnasium were more likely to be respectful and considerate of other peoples' feelings than those attending a comprehensive school. This study has been widely criticised. Charges were raised that questions were worded in academic language  thus, students attending a comprehensive may not have understood them properly. It has also been suggested that the answers the students gave may have been influenced by social class, that gymnasium students may have been brought up to think they were selfless, while really they were not.
Proponents of comprehensive schools stated gymnasium students were phony and elitist while pretending to be selfless. A study revealed that college-bound students attending a traditional gymnasium did better on the TOEFL than college-bound students attending a comprehensive, but those did better than college-bound students attending an " Aufbaugymnasium ", " Technisches Gymnasium " or " Wirtschaftsgymnasium " the last three schools serve students, who graduated from another school receiving no Abitur and give them the opportunity to earn the Abitur.
Proponents of comprehensive schools often hold the opinion that it is unfair to compare gymnasia and Realschulen with comprehensive schools.
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While gymnasia and Realschulen often handpick their students, comprehensives are open to all. Proponents of comprehensives also think they lack the most academically promising young people, who have been skimmed off by other schools. They also point out that some comprehensives such as the " Laborschule Bielefeld " and the " Helene Lange School " in Wiesbaden ranked among Germany's best schools. Germany's Left Party introduced a discussion concerning affirmative action. According to Stefan Zillich , quotas should be "a possibility" to help working-class children who do not do well in school gain access to gymnasium.