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Head teachers in favour of Turkish Matura

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Head teachers in favour of Turkish Matura
Classroom. Photo: APA
10:50 CEST+02:00
Three quarters of high school (AHS) directors are in favour of introducing Turkish as a Matura exam subject, as well as a Turkish teaching diploma at Austrian universities.

This is according to a survey by human rights organization SOS Mitmensch, carried out among 50 school heads.

72 percent thought Turkish should be a Matura subject, and 76 percent thought it should be a teacher training diploma. Only in Carinthia was the majority not in favour of a Turkish Matura.

Most school directors thought that teaching Turkish as part of the foreign language curriculum would have a positive effect on Turkish students’ grammar and vocabulary, and would help them to learn other languages.

They also thought that it would be an incentive for more Turkish speakers to progress onto further education. Schools with a higher percentage of Turkish students were more open to the idea and thought it would help further their students’ potential.

"No student would be exempt from having to learn German and English. The intention is to give students the opportunity to deepen their often colloquial mother language skills and to provide the option of Turkish as a foreign language Matura," said SOS Mitmensch spokesman Alexander Pollak.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) said she could imagine Turkish being studied as a foreign language. However, she said learning German should be the priority, to enable students to integrate as fully as possible. 
 
However, the right-wing FPÖ said introducing Turkish as a Matura subject would be "a slap in the face of any integration effort." 
 
FPÖ education spokesman Walter Rosenkranz said that the Matura exams would be "watered down" if Turkish was introduced, and that the quality of high school education would be affected. 
 
Other immigrant languages, ​​such as Russian, Polish, or Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, can be studied for the Matura, but a Turkish Matura is currently only available as a pilot at Henriettenplatz night school in Vienna-Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus.

According to Statistics Austria there are currently 6,300 students in high school who speak both German and Turkish.

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