More than half of migrants fail official German test

The number of migrants and refugees failing Germany’s language and integration test has risen. Nearly half of all migrants fail, according to German media reports.

Among approximately 202,000 people who participated in the course in 2018, 93,500 failed, according to government data cited in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung daily. This is a 45 per cent failure rate, compared to 40 per cent in 2017.

In figures quoted by daily Die Welt on 22 March 2019, nearly 40,000 of those taking part last year were Syrians, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Romanians, Turks and Bulgarians. The course teaches participants basic to intermediate level of German, and helps them prepare for an exam titled “Life in Germany.”

After completing the language and integration course, participants are expected to be able to understand a slowly spoken conversation, communicate in simple sentences and understand everyday texts. Non-German nationals who intend to live permanently in Germany will also be required to understand insights into Germany’s culture, history, legal system and values. However, even with additional classes, the report showed that one in four still failed. Nearly 45,000 participants were illiterate when they started their classes.

The report says one issue is that no clear guidelines have been set to assess what constitutes “orderly, regular attendance” of courses, leaving it up to the individual teacher to decide if a participant has attended often enough to pass.

People who pass both parts of the course are awarded the “Integration Course Certificate”.

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been criticised for the quality of the courses. The BAMF has since stepped up inspections, running checks on nearly 90 percent of course providers in 2018.

The inspections has led the BAMF to revoked or not renew the licenses of 16 course providers. Definitive figures are slated to be published in May.

TMP – 29/03/2019

Photo Credit: Gallofilm/Shutterstock. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge) in Berlin