Vigilance. No exceptions!
Did you know that while our department (FB02) registers the second largest number of stu-dents of all the university of Kassel we are also the department with the least number of pro-fessors? Ah, and never mind those 4 lecturer positions and those two EFL-positions of Koenigand Fehling that were/are supposed to be cut. Forget also about studying Spanish or French.Seriously, get over it!You see, since no one made any serious attempt at blowing the whole place due to the currentsituation, it can’t be so bad, can it? Surely, this must be the logic behind all that follows.That’s the situation: Our teachers are being given more work, less resources and increased classsizes and are expected to improve test scores. Students are expected to finish school sooner,with no re-runs and no personal development whatsoever. Can you be a teacher by the age of 21? You bet!Directors of universities and politicians are under pressure to cut costs. They often look at thisas a simple cost analysis, where and how we can save money. They do not look at the peopleinvolved, simply numbers. Numbers do not have a voice, numbers do not tell you how it is im-possible to get a word in, in a class of 100 students. But numbers can tell you that you will fail:It is a proven fact that a 1st semester student that has already been in, say, England for a year,is lucky to be able to hold his level of language skill during his time here. Of course, that’sonly if it’s given that this very students does not watch German TV, but only English Chan-nels, switches his Cellphone and Notebook to English, and has a large collection of DVDs andforeign friends to call his own.Otherwise: To bad for you, sucker. You will fail very badly!The development of Sprachpraxis is, by the way, a good example of how good or bad youare going to be made a teacher. You see, one of our lecturer positions is going to be cut. Thegeniuses in bildungspolitik only worship number, numbers, numbers. Not taking into accountnew students coming in, re-runs by unlucky students, students dropping classes, exchange stu-dents, availability of classes etc. Not to mention the fact that in a class meant to help studentsimprove their language skills a class of 25 affords each student approx. 3mins per week of speaking time, not exactly practical. Apparently what is best for the balance sheet is much moreimportant than what is best for the students.This is merely an example of what is transpiring in the English department, and it is as bad orworse in Romanistik. There needs to be a change in thinking by all parties concerned. Studentsmust demand better resources, class sizes, opportunities and support; and the teachers shouldbe echoing these demands. There can’t be a divide between students and teachers anymore. Nomore “students protest & teachers whine”. That’s a failed policy!If students want barricade the way into the department, teachers are obliged to cancel all theirclasses. No exceptions. If we don’t act, and if we don’t act soon, nothing will happen. And that’sto be taken literally, because without vigilance nothing will happen, because we are the onlyones responsible for our situation!