The survey of 1,256 parents of children between 3 and 18 years old by the Allenbach Institute and commissioned by the Vodafone Foundation found 59 percent believed their kids were not given the same opportunities as ethnically German children. A full 63 percent said they believed teachers had pre-existing prejudices against children from minority backgrounds, the magazine reported.
A slight majority (51 percent) also felt that their children were unfairly graded by teachers, even if they were achieving as highly as their ethnically German peers. A majority also felt language barriers were a major reason for what they felt was their children’s unfair treatment.
Previous research has shown that children from immigrant backgrounds fare poorly in Germany’s school system compared to their ethnically German peers, although there has been disagreement over the reasons. Suggested reasons range from low expectations among teachers to poor German language ability among some minority young people.
A 2009 article in the American University Law Review reported that between two thirds and three quarters of children of Turkish origin were assigned to the lowest of Germany’s secondary schools – the Hauptschule – compared to just one third of ethnically German children.