• Germany edition
 
Shrinking school pays €500 for new pupils
Photo: DPA

Shrinking school pays €500 for new pupils

Published: 25 Feb 2013 16:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Feb 2013 16:42 GMT+01:00

A struggling western German secondary school is reportedly paying €500 ($664) to parents to enroll their children, as Germany struggles with one of Europe's lowest birthrates.

Dubbed the "starter kit", the cash bonus aims to boost the intake of fifth graders aged 10 to 11 at the school in Speicher in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the regional Trierischer Volksfreund newspaper reported.

By end-February, the school, which faces opposition to the unusual initiative, must have at least 51 children registered but, according to the paper Sunday, had just 26.

"I don't know what's supposed to be immoral about it?" school head Jürgen Weber told the paper on Monday. "It's tradition after all to support pupils and parents in the purchase of materials."

Mayor Rudolf Becker described the controversial payment as the "cherry on the cake" and told the paper that even if 100 children were to sign up and they had to stump up €500 in each case, "we would gladly do it".

But the school's supervisory authority appears unconvinced.

"The path being tread goes in the wrong direction. The choice of school should not be made according to financial issues," Eveline Dziendziol said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned last year that the ageing population poses the biggest challenge of this century to Germany.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:29 February 26, 2013 by mitanni
There would be nothing wrong with it if these were private schools. But as public schools, they are paying public funds to compete with other public schools. And why? To preserve their own jobs, not actually to improve education.
Today's headlines
Op-Ed
Why Germany should stop arming the world
Saudi Arabia wants to buy 800 German Leopard 2 tanks. Photo: DPA

Why Germany should stop arming the world

Germany's weapons industry is booming, and even the vice chancellor's attempt to stop selling tanks to the Saudis is a minor concession for the world's third biggest arms exporter. But the trade is destabilizing security. READ () »

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin

An exhibition opened in Berlin last week of rare colour photos from World War I. Haunting images of soldiers in trenches take centre stage in the collection. READ () »

German economy enjoying 'solid upturn'
Photo: DPA

German economy enjoying 'solid upturn'

The German economy is currently in the middle of a "solid upturn", the government said on Tuesday, even if concerns about the fallout from Ukraine are souring investor confidence. READ () »

Wet week leads up to warmer Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Wet week leads up to warmer Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, state weather service the DWD forecast on Tuesday. READ () »

Petition seeks to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition seeks to remove WWII Russian tanks

German newspapers launched a petition Tuesday to remove two Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against Russia's actions in Ukraine. READ () »

Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA

Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals

Customs officers in western German caught an elderly man with almost €200,000 taped to his genitals. He and his wife had just crossed into the country from Luxembourg last week. READ () »

'Dangerously high dust levels' hit big cities
Photo: DPA

'Dangerously high dust levels' hit big cities

Germany is being exposed to very high levels of fine dust in the air, the environmental office (UBA) said on Tuesday. In big cities, levels exceed those deemed safe by experts. READ () »

Woman decomposed on bathroom floor
The woman lived on Heinrich-Heine Strasse in central Berlin. Photo: DPA

Woman decomposed on bathroom floor

A woman's body lay decomposing on her bathroom floor in Berlin for several months before neighbours noticed her letterbox had overflowed. READ () »

Air Berlin cancels flights to Sharm el-Sheikh
Holidaymakers snorkle off a Sharm el-Sheikh beach. Photo: DPA

Air Berlin cancels flights to Sharm el-Sheikh

Germany's second-biggest airline, Air Berlin, on Monday said it has cancelled flights this month to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea because of deteriorating security for foreign tourists. READ () »

Thieves clean out casinos with software
Paul Gauselmann, manufacturer of the machines. Photo: DPA

Thieves clean out casinos with software

Thieves swindled hundreds of casinos across Germany in just one night by exploiting a software-bug in defective slot machines. The manufacturer may be liable for up to €10 million in damages. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Travel
Germany to charge foreign drivers from 2016
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
'World's oldest' message in a bottle arrives home
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
Advertisement:
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,043
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd