The new head of the Berlin Police Academy has said that police trainees should close their English textbooks and open their German ones instead. The training program has been criticized for falling German levels.
The head of Berlin's Police Academy, Tanja Knapp, said Monday that police training schools should offer less instruction in English and instead focus more on German.
Speaking to the Berlin Senate, Knapp said that the shift in focus was needed in order to improve the German language abilities of police recruits.
Many police trainees have "fundamental difficulties when it comes to language … including correct spelling, punctuation and producing written texts," she said.
"Of course, it makes sense to be able to speak English to the capital's many tourists," Knapp added. "But if the basic required level of German is too low, then the focus should be on German."
The Berlin Police Academy trains around 2,500 trainees, who receive classes from some 230 instructors. Many of the police-in-training have foreign heritage, and the level of secondary education achieved among recruits varies widely.
Knapp took over as the academy head in July after a 2017 report highlighting teacher shortfalls and falling German language abilities among recruits led to the removal of the previous head.