SchlaU Schule: supporting young refugees

Germany ratified in 1992 the Convention on the Rights of the Child (commonly abbreviated as the CRC or UNCRC), a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children, with the exception that refugees between 16 and 18 were considered adults so they had no rights to go to school or to do vocational training.

In 2000 Michael Stenger thought about creating something analogous to the formal school and founded the SchlaU-Schule to address this “gap” in Germany’s assylum system of young refugees. He started in his living room with a group of ten students and now they have around 300 students distributed in three “levels” with open progression possibilities so they can go quicker or slower depending on their previous educational background.

In 2010 when the exception was took back they started working closely with the government and regular schools to export their knowledge. In 2016 they created the SchlaU-Werkstatt a transfer agency of knowledge to other schools. They have scientific work, they publish newspapers and interviews and teaching materials.

In this interview we talk with Björn Schalles, managing director of SchlaU.

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