Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Expansion on Behalf of God

Expansion im Auftrag Gottes was the title of an article in Freiburg's Sunday paper Der Sonntag. The text describes the extraordinary success of a private evangelical school in South Baden. The Freie Evangelische Schule (FES) at Lörrach started in 1989 with 23 pupils and now counts 2100.

Public schooling is still common in Germany and the quality of teaching is high. Nevertheless due to our pluralistic society where kids of academics sit in class together with refugee children it is becoming more and more difficult for teachers to progress uniformly with all their pupils. In addition, young people have problems with bullying, internet addiction and sometimes drugs although not only at public schools.

Parents try to avoid this modern scourge by sending their children to private schools. This explains the success of schools like the FES although tuition fees are as high as 330 euros per month. Parents who enroll their children look for the behütetes Umfeld (caring environment) of private schooling.

In the article the parent representative stresses the nature of Lörrach's evangelical faith-based school where pupils are treated in their dignity as God's creatures. Before children are accepted to attend the FES their parents must sign a paper declaring that they support the Christian profession of faith. All looks so well but will kids brought up in such a protected environment master their future in a world of turmoil?

As far as teaching is concerned the FES approaches the evangelical education in the States in preferring the Genesis of the Old Testament to the Theory of Evolution. The director of the FES however states: We have nothing against science, on the contrary. We teach Evolution Theory as being only a hypothesis with some basic assumptions and fragmentary elements. We point this out to our students. They should draw their own conclusions. Will they?

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