School: Praise for Germany's education system

The OECD publishes its new study "Education at a Glance 2018".
 Germany is making progress in many areas, such as early childhood education.
 Significantly fewer young people in this country have no career prospects than in the other OECD countries.



    Lack of daycare, shortage of teachers, dilapidated school buildings – Germany's education policy-makers currently have several major projects to solve. They may be pleased that a new study, "Education at a Glance 2018", the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), gives good marks to the local education system in several respects.


    Accordingly, Germany has clearly caught up in education in recent years in some areas. Thus far more children attend a kindergarten than before. The proportion of under-3s attending early childhood education increased from 17 per cent in 2005 to 37 per cent in 2016. The proportion of young adults without a high-school or equivalent degree dropped slightly from 15 to 13 per cent within ten years. The majority of young people with vocational training or university degrees have good job prospects. For young adults with a middle-level qualification, the employment rate has risen six percentage points to 83 percent within ten years.

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The Federal Ministry of Education emphasized that Germany was well-placed with vocational and academic education. This also facilitates the integration of young immigrants. Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) said: "Vocational training and academic education are equal and sustainable career alternatives."


    That the systems work, shows another result of the OECD study. Only one in ten 15- to 29-year-old Germans is neither in work nor in school or training. This is one of the lowest shares in OECD countries. However, among the foreign-born people, one in four is affected. The reason given by the OECD is the high number of refugees who have come to Germany in recent years. For immigrant children, as well as for children from poorer families, education through education can still be difficult.


    However, the German system with its juxtaposition of academic and vocational education also performs a lot in terms of integration. The employment rates of people who were born in Germany and those who immigrated to Germany before the age of 15 hardly differ: the employment rate in the intermediate qualification range is equal to 82 percent each. In higher qualifications, ie those with tertiary education, the difference in the employment rate is only one percentage point (91 percent for Germans born, 90 percent for young immigrants). For these values, among other things, early childhood education plays an important role. OECD Education Director Andreas Schleicher said, especially since have done so much in Germany.


    Nevertheless, he emphasized: "Children from unfavorable social classes, who need it most, are least likely to receive early childhood education in Germany, and this social gap is the opposite of what we need."