At the first working session of the Subcommittee on Cultural and Education Policy Abroad in the German Bundestag on 31 March, Minister of State Maria Böhmer outlined the priorities in cultural relations and education policy.
The discussion with members of the subcommittee focused mainly on how to enhance the culture of welcome and on international cooperation on education, academia and culture. As Germany’s representative in the United Nations Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, Minister of State Böhmer is committed to ensuring that appropriate attention is paid to education, academia and culture in the so‑called post‑2015 debate. The Minister of State concentrated the discussion on education as the key to growth and sustainable development in a globalised world.
Afterwards the Minister of State said:
Culture is an important factor in bringing together industrialised nations, emerging economies and developing countries. Culture is not only an economic factor and a means to bring about understanding and exchange. Culture is also a factor enabling identity, recognition and self‑awareness to feed into this process.
One vitally important aspect of our cultural relations and education policy is to spread a knowledge of the German language in a very modern way. The Minister of State expressed her appreciation of the tremendous commitment and success of the German Schools abroad and the Goethe‑Institut in this regard:
We should be even more pro‑active in encouraging people to learn German. If we want to attract students and skilled workers to Germany, we need to start early. Because good preparation increases opportunities and improves perspectives.
Minister of State Böhmer and the members of the subcommittee were in agreement that vocational training can play a major part in effectively tackling youth unemployment. As laid down in the Coalition Agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD, vocational training is to become more firmly established in the culture of the German Schools abroad.