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New study gives top marks to immigrant schoolchildren

Foreign schoolchildren perform better alongside their Swiss peers


Foreign schoolchildren are routinely under-rated in Swiss schools, despite evidence that they learn better alongside Swiss pupils, and help their Swiss peers to do better. That's the conclusion of a government study, published on Wednesday.

The study found that the children of immigrants are generally under-evaluated by teachers when compared to Swiss children, and that increasing numbers are being isolated from their Swiss peers in special classes.

The report, published by the National Scientific Research Foundation, found that foreign schoolchildren learn German better when they are in direct contact with their Swiss peers.

It said too that the presence of immigrants has led to an improvement in the performance of the Swiss.

Researchers from the Institute for Pedagogy at the University of Fribourg surveyed 2,000 children in German-speaking Switzerland and Liechtenstein in normal and special classes, and compared the performance levels of the two groups.

Three times more foreign schoolchildren are passing through special classes compared to 20 years ago, while the number of Swiss children attending such classes has declined by 20 per cent.

Immigrant children are also treated differently in different cantons.

swissinfo with agencies

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