Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

A trainee teacher with sixth grade pupils during her final internship in Thun

(Keystone)

Shifting landscapes for news media, teacher qualifications, the nation’s borders and, last but not least, Roger Federer’s home life are among the headlines.

The NZZ am Sonntag reports that Swiss billionaire Walter Frey, a former parliamentarian with the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, is the principal investor in a group seeking to buy the Blick publications owned by Ringier, one of Switzerland’s biggest media groups,

Ringier CEO Mark Walder confirmed that Frey, who controls the company his father built into one of the largest auto importers in Europe, is the group’s main investor vying for control of the Blick group, though it is not officially for sale.

Though there apparently has not been any formal purchase offer, the interest in Blick comes from the Frey in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Media Group, which has been a supporter of and collaborator with FIFA, the world football governing body, the newspaper reported.

Frey would like to put up a pay firewall in Blick’s online platform. Basler Zeitung newspaper belongs in part to Christoph Blocher, another Swiss billionaire who has been the chief strategist of the right-wing political party.

Teacher credentials

A movement is afoot to raise the educational requirements for kindergarten and primary school teachers.

A three-year bachelor’s degree is required now. Most educational colleges offer a combined course for kindergarten and primary school training, Some educational leaders, however, developed a strategy paper proposing to raise the requirement to a master’s degree taking four to five years to complete.

"We have to take account of the demands on the school," Hans-Rudolf Schärer of the University of Teacher Education Lucerne told NZZ am Sonntag.

Other experts say a key reason for the change is that behavioural problems are increasing in schools, requiring more training for teachers – who would also then presumably qualify for higher salaries.

The Fed

We all know about his fabulous game, but Roger Federer’s personal life is equally fascinating. For example, he has decided that it may be easier on his two sets of young twins and his wife Mirka if they no longer follow him everywhere he goes.

“In the beginning Mirka and I never wanted to be separated. It was unthinkable that I would play a tournament without them,” he told SonntagsZeitung. “Today, we know that it is easier when I sometimes travel alone to a tournament, such as Shanghai. That we do not have to travel 11 hours together, get jetlagged, go back again, again jetlagged.”

Still, he thinks the twin girls and twin boys benefit from seeing the world. “Especially because we travel in a large group, it is not boring. There are also enough other children around us, as we have many friends on the tour.”

Federer does not think the children need to know their father is so famous. “And when people come to me and want something from me, I tell the kids: these are simply tennis fans who like tennis, so they know your daddy.” Moreover, with all the exposure, including the prevalence of social media, he said, "I fight for my children to grow up normally."

Beyond borders

At an annual gathering of young socialists, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said she agrees with their idealistic premise that the world would be better off with any national borders.

The young socialists believe everyone should be able to settle down in the world wherever they want, and Sommaruga said their views are valuable and it was important to talk about migration and asylum.

Among the youths’ demands were for poverty to be a factor with asylum requests. She said asylum seekers also should be allowed to work in Switzerland.

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