Ten years ago, then Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier launched the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH) to promote intercultural dialogue. The network now comprises over 2000 schools in around 120 countries and is a particularly effective long term measure in the area of cultural relations and education policy. With the help of this worldwide network, the aim is to foster young people’s interest in the German language, society and culture.
The series of anniversary events began on 9 February 2018 with the first appearance of the PASCH mobile at the Goethe Institut Head Office in Munich. Between February and December 2018 it toured Germany to showcase the international network, stopping at more than 30 locations including the PASCH partner organisations – the Goethe Institut, the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Educational Exchange Service of the Secretariat of the KMK – as well as PASCH schools in Germany and enterprises. The highlight of the tour is the PASCH anniversary celebration on 6 June in Berlin, when more than 850 participants will come together to look back on the success of the past ten years, PASCH alumni will report on their educational path and representatives of business, politics and education will talk about their links to PASCH. Anniversary events are also taking place in the PASCH countries with teachers, pupils, alumni and partners from the worlds of politics, business and academia. Here you can follow the PASCH mobile on the various stages of its journey.
PASCH: a network with a vision
Thanks to the common Internet platform www.pasch-net.de, the PASCH schools comprise an international learning community of more than half a million pupils in which teachers and pupils from all corners of the globe can communicate with one another in German. This is therefore about much more than bilateral cooperation. German as a language of communication builds a bridge between young generations of different nationalities, thereby promoting openness, tolerance and mutual interest.The focus is on regions where there are traditional links to the German language, such as in Eastern Europe and the United States, as well as on places where demand for German language teaching has risen sharply, such as Asia and the Middle East. Examinations at the schools range from the Goethe Institut’s “Fit in Deutsch” (A1/A2), through the German Language Certificate of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (B1 C1) to the German higher education entrance qualification. Level II of the German Language Certificate (DSD) is a requirement for obtaining a place at a university in Germany. Pupils who become acquainted with the German language and culture through PASCH thus have a chance to study in Germany – ideally with a full scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. In many cases, attending a PASCH school also opens the door to attractive vocational courses at a German or European company in the region.
During his visit to Tanzania, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had this to say:
“I was very impressed to see the young people here in Tanzania and their enthusiasm for learning German. Some former pupils were there who explained that they have now obtained grants to study in Germany and want to complete their studies there before returning to their home country, where they have major plans. I was thrilled by this. PASCH is an outstanding initiative, and for this reason we intend to take on additional partner schools this year. This is an exceptional project. It is helping us to continuouslyimprove our relations with many countries, and it has therefore been a very, very pleasant experience.”
Five strong partners
Under the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH), coordinated and financed by the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the Goethe Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Educational Exchange Service of the Secretariat of the KMK work with the PASCH schools to establish and develop German as a school subject. The Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad, Educational Exchange Service and the Goethe Institut are committed to ensuring the high quality of the German language teaching. They organise teacher training courses, school development measures, school partnerships and work placement programmes, among other things. In addition, the PASCH schools can benefit from the skills of local specialist advisors from the Central Agency for Schools Abroad and teaching experts (Goethe Institut) and obtain information about Germany as a university location. Pupils who obtain their school leaving qualifications from a PASCH school and wish to study in Germany can apply to the German Academic Exchange Service for a grant if they fulfil certain criteria.