The Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Cornelia Pieper, yesterday (1 March) received a visit from the new President of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), Senator Ties Rabe (Hamburg).
Their talks focused on the further development of the system of German schools abroad and on the project to produce a joint German-Polish history book for use in schools in the two countries.
“Both the Federal Government and the Länder are keen to see the network of German schools abroad remain a beacon for our education system abroad,” said Minister of State Pieper.
Pieper praised the KMK’s commitment to the German schools abroad and asked that the Länder maintain their important support at current levels even in times of budget consolidation.
“The joint history textbook is a priority among the areas of cooperation agreed by the two Governments last year. It is a core project of German-Polish cooperation in the field of education, and together we need to show our Polish partners that we are serious about it,” Minister of State Pieper said yesterday.
German-Polish history book
The joint German-Polish history book project was launched in 2008. The book is intended to show that Germany and Poland have today arrived at a shared view both of their bilateral history and of European history. The book will appear in both languages and be usable in history lessons in both countries.
The Polish side has already ensured funding for its share and has found a publisher. The Federal Foreign Office is supporting the project by guaranteeing to purchase the book (also for use in German schools abroad) to the value of 250,000 euro as soon as it is published, and by providing 750,000 euro towards the costs of producing it.
German schools abroad
Germany operates a network of 140 schools abroad which receive official funding. In addition, there are 870 schools funded by the host countries, where KMK language exams can be taken, enabling students to enter higher education in Germany. The Federal Foreign Office is responsible for funding the German schools abroad. The Länder second teachers to the schools, arrange the curricula and oversee the final school-leaving exams.
The fact that the German schools abroad are becoming the subject of growing attention is linked with the increased interest shown by German universities and German businesses in students and highly-skilled workers from abroad. Graduates of German schools abroad are particularly well prepared for a career in Germany or for jobs involving a lot of contact with Germany. In addition, the German schools abroad provide education for the children of German nationals living abroad for work or other reasons.