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Education System in Germany, Policy Recommendations

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Faculty of Social Sciences

School of Economics and Business Administration

Darya Repina, Kerstin Krebs, Liliana Šašlova, Anastasiia Shalina

Vootele Jagomägi, Rihards Mežaraups



Research paper

Supervisor: prof. Diana Eerma, Mariia Chebotareva

Tartu 2018

Table of contents

Table of contents        2

1.        Introduction        3

1.1.        Primary level (Grundschule)        3

1.2.        Secondary level        3

1.3.        Hauptschule        3

1.4.        Realschule        4

1.5.        Gymnasium        4

1.6.        Gesamtschule        4

1.7.        Berufsschule        4

2.        Type of capitalism in Germany        5

3.        Analysis of Germany’s education problems        7

4.        Analysis of the sample        10

4.1.        Gender        10

4.2.        Age        11

4.3.        Education        11

5.        Financing education in Germany        13

5.1. Financing of primary level schools        16

6.        Financial burden for parents in early-years education        19

7.        Policy recommendations        20

References        22

  1. Introduction

As Germany is one of the leading western powers in the EU and also in the world, it is expected that their education system can produce top level experts in all areas of life. In this case study we aim to characterize the German educational system and identify the obstacles facing it. In the first part of the study we will describe the primary and secondary tiers of education in Germany. The second part will match the system with a fitting Amable’s classification of capitalism. In the third part the report will describe the problematic parts of the German education system by means of a survey. The methodology of the survey will also be described in this part. The fourth part will focus on the financing characteristics of Germany’s education structure. The final part will be drawing conclusions from the earlier chapters and highlighting key issues.

  1. Primary level (Grundschule)

Primary education lasts 4 years, during which students learn basic skills such as reading and writing. Parents can choose to enlist their children in a state school or a private school. State schools do not charge tuition fees. Homeschooling in Germany is illegal.

  1. Secondary level

After the primary level children get separated according to the wishes of their family and their academic ability. German entire educational system is divided into three different tracks. They can attend the following types of schools:

  1. Hauptschule

The Hauptschule ranges from grade 5 to grade 9. Hauptschule teaches at a slower pace and with more vocational-oriented courses. It proceeds into enrollment in a vocational school and an apprenticeship training. Most Hauptschule are state-run, but some of the Hauptschule are private.

  1. Realschule

The Realschule ranges from grade 5 to grade 10 (age 10-15) in most states. Realschule education combines both theoretical and practical types of education. After graduating from Realschule the more accomplished students can attend a professional Gymnasium also known as a full-time vocational school. After graduation students can also attend part-time vocational school (Berufschule).

  1. Gymnasium

Gymnasium comprises of lower level studies and higher level studies. Students aged 10 to 15 study on lower levels before continuing towards upper level studies (Oberstufe). Graduating a gymnasium grants the student with an Abitur diploma at the end of the 13th grade. The gymnasium prepares students for universities or a combined academic and vocational study. After graduation students can continue education path in full-time vocational/half-time vocational school. It is the most academically challenging secondary school in Germany.

  1. Gesamtschule

Gesamtschule ranges from the 5th grade to the 10th grade (age 10-15). It is only found in some states and replaces both the Hauptschule and Realschule. Students who graduate through the 9th grade receive the Hauptschule certificate while students who complete through the 10th grade receive the Realschule certificate.

  1. Berufsschule

After graduating Hauptschule and Realschule students can enroll in Berufschule. This combines part-time academic study and an apprenticeship. Completion leads to certification in a field of work. Students must have completed at least nine years of education in the previous levels of study. Berufsschule differs from other secondary education institution by not being governed by the individual states. The control rests with the federal government. The education system of Germany is shown below. (See Figure 1)



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