Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tribute : Students and teachers 4U 9526

Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school 
credits: Getty Images

Candles and flowers were laid this evening in tribute to the 16 students and two teachers of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See.

Students and teachers are taking a few days off to enjoy easter holiday with family and to recharge batteries near family and friends. 

However a large number of students and their teachers go for school exchange trips to different European countries.

credits : AFP/ Getty Images

Unfortunately sixteen German students and two teachers from the west German town of Haltern who were returning from a week-long school exchange language programme with Giola institute in Spanish village of Llinars del Valles, were flying on the aircraft Germanwings 4U 9525.

They had spent a week in a small town outside Barcelona, immersed in Spanish language and culture, as part of an annual exchange program. Their stay over, they and their two teachers were on their way back to this small town near Düsseldorf.

Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school 
credits: AFP/ Getty Images

The students, 10th graders from the Joseph-König-Gymnasium, were about 15 years old. On Tuesday morning they departed the small, Catalan town of Llinars del Vallès on the 6 o’clock train, bound for the airport in nearby Barcelona. Many of their families were already at the airport waiting for their arrival when the unfathomable happened.
  During this time of year, tens of thousands of students just like them, all over Europe, board planes for a week or two of foreign culture on Comenius programme

It had to have been one of the happiest experiences of their lives, people said. And I really believe it. I know it's true.

As a teacher of languages curriculum who made some school exchange language programmes among European schools, I know how students love these activities. I could experience the enthusiasm and encouragement in language skills learning of school exchanges language programmes.

We were exausted but happy to see how the students learned and exchanged cultural traditions during these weeks.

And I know as well how we feel the great responsability to go abroad with 16 or more students for a Comenius programme. 

Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school 
credits: Reuters

I can't imagine one of those thing happening to us or anyone who go for a school exchange language programme across Europe.

I have no words. I feel deeply sad. How tragic for the victims, students, teachers, their families, their friends.

But it's also a tragedy for school, classmates, other teachers. They will never forget. 

So I pay my respect to the 16 German students, 2 teachers, and to their families.

"No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” 

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


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