The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports Homepage of the World Education Forum
   Germany
Contents of country report Homepage of country reports Country reports listed alphabetically Country reports by region



Next Page



PART I Descriptive Section

1. EFA goals and targets

Brief description of goals and targets set by national authorities in respect of each of the six "target dimensions" defined in paragraph 8 of the FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION TO MEET BASIC LEARNING NEEDS agreed at the Jomtien Conference. Who sets the targets (Presidential Decree? Development Plan? Education Reform Act?)

Both the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the German Democratic Republic complied with the Framework of Action as agreed on at Jomtien in March 1990. Whereas the industrialized countries' contribution towards "Education for All" primarily focussed on their role as donor in the context of development co-operation, national authorities concentrated on implementation (compare answers to questions 4, 5 and 8).

In Germany today, the school system as well as the various facilities for adult education respond to a great extent to the goals and targets of the Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs. With regard to target dimensions 2, ‘universal access to primary education' and 3, ‘learning achievements', the situation has not changed relative to the very positive status in 1990 and 1995, as described in the Reports of the Federal Republic of Germany to the 42nd and 45th Sessions of the International Conference on Education in Geneva (1990 and 1996) and updated in the World Data on Education (1998). The enrolment rate in primary schools is almost 100 %, the difference being accounted for by delayed enrolment of individual pupils at the request of their parents. There is no drop-out rate at the primary level in Germany since compulsory schooling, which usually lasts for 9 years (10 years in 4 Laender), and the obligatory three years's compulsory part-time schooling that follows (Berufsschulpflicht), exclude the possibility of pupils leaving the education system before the age of 16 / 17. However, of the 866,668 young people who left school in 1995, 75,186 had not obtained a Hauptschulabschluß. In the percentage terms this means that 8.7 % failed to gain a first general-school leaving certificate at the end of lower secondary level.

During the second half of the decade, concern is growing about the quality of learning achievements in school and about the challenges faced by the national school system, as society and the economy are undergoing deep and accelerated transformation.

Also, target dimension 4, ‘reduction of the adult illiteracy rate' and adequate preventive measures remain an ongoing concern for German education policy, as stated in the Federal Government Report to Parliament of October 1993 (12/5821, 01.10.1993, Federal Government Report on Combating Illiteracy in the Federal Republic of Germany, answer to a request of Parliament of October 1990). The report focused on prevention at primary school level, literacy training for youth in vocational training programs and general access of illiterate adults to training courses. Responding to target dimension 5, literacy classes for adult learners now include basic education skills, in particular pre-vocational training elements, as well as social skills. However, no quantitative goals and time-frames have been suggested, as existing adult illiteracy data is regarded as an estimate. The most comprehensive empirical research was conducted within the framework of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) in 1995. The IALS was made possible thanks to a collaborative effort of seven Governments (Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States) and three intergovernmental organizations (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, European Union and UNESCO). For Germany, Prof. Lehmann, of the Humboldt University, Berlin was the National Study Director in charge. IALS was intended to examine the status of adult literacy and basic skills across countries. By that means, the survey identified literacy as a mode of adult behavior, namely: 'Using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential'. Hence, literacy was grouped into three domains: prose literacy, document literacy and quantitative literacy, and into five different levels. The IALS reveals a rather differentiated picture for Germany. Within the group of seven countries participating in the survey, Germany ranks in the middle, similar to the Netherlands and Switzerland. Regarding different literacy levels, the survey shows less of a spread in Germany than for example in Canada and in the United States, i.e. a more frequent occurrence in literacy levels II and III. In terms of the three literacy domains, German participants clearly demonstrated better results in document literacy than in prose literacy.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has commissioned a more detailed analysis of the data collected in the IALS. It’s results are expected in the near future.

The Report of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the 4th World Conference on Women 1995 states that gender-specific differences are not thought to exist among the illiterate in Germany.

2. EFA strategy and / or plan of action

Brief description of the main features of the agreed strategy and / or plan of action to achieve the goals and targets. Who decided what strategy and / or plan should be followed? Who monitors progress? What basic learning needs have been identified? Are particular target groups identified? Has the strategy and / or plan been reviewed and revised from time to time?

With regard to Germany's role as a donor, its commitment to contributing to "Education for All" led to a redefinition of goals in development co-operation. In 1992, the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development adopted a new policy concept 'supporting basic education in developing countries' which included the key elements of the Jomtien conference. Basic education is now regarded as the foundation of human resources development. Although education has always been given a high profile, Jomtien was influential in a reorientation in target setting: Whereas traditionally, emphasis was placed on vocational training and higher education, basic education is now being accorded greater priority. The two essential reasons are that investment in basic education yields high economic and individual returns and that vocational training and academic education are only effective and sustainable when built on a thorough basic education. The main efforts aimed at improving quality of basic education are focussed on intercultural bilingual education, natural sciences and life skills, developing and producing teaching and learning aids, teacher training and literacy programs combined with instruction in health, hygiene, agricultural and environmental protection. In the second half of the decade, the approach of German international co-operation in the field of education has been re-evaluated and has shifted from pure curricula development and provision of teaching materials towards a more systemic approach to sector consultancy, assistance in education reform projects and a reorientation of educational systems, in close co-operation with the particular Ministries of Education.

Main target groups are the poor and marginalized and people living in remote rural areas. Special attention is given to improving the situation of girls, women and young people.

Thus, since Jomtien, the focus of funding in development co-operation has shifted more and more towards basic education. For more detailed data about how this affected budgetary allocations, see section 5. The slight decline in spending on education as of 1994 is attributed to many different factors and should by no means be interpreted as a change in policy.

As a result of the coalition agreement of October 1998, the role and scope of international co-operation has also been clearly upgraded. It is no longer seen as just development aid but rather as a global structural policy, with the goal of improving economic, social, environmental and political conditions and as a pro-active peace policy. The new Government is not only supporting the cancelling of debt of the Least Developed Countries but is also calling for a reorientation of the structural adjustment policy of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In 1998, during the coalition negotiations, UN agreements have been explicitly referred to as policy guidelines for national authorities.

No explicit plan or strategy has been formulated for overcoming functional illiteracy in Germany. The main efforts are directed towards meeting learning needs of adults with considerable deficiencies in reading, writing and numeracy. Annually, an average of 20,000 people participate in these types of literacy classes. In addition, a whole range of formal and non-formal education and counseling measures are in place for school-age children who have pronounced difficulties, in order to master reading and writing and calculus as quickly as possible and prevent them dropping out of school. Young children in particular in the first 6 grades of school are special target groups. A recent study of reading habits in Germany points to the necessity of promoting a reading culture, in particular among children and teenagers.

Young adults who failed in the compulsory school system are offered supplementary literacy classes in order to help them enter working life. Foreign bilingual residents, with German as a second language, are also offered basic education. To integrate foreign children and young people in the lower secondary level, various support programs are run by the schools to help foreign pupils learn German and obtain German school qualifications. Classes are also offered to preserve their native-language skills and cultural identity.

In June 1997, the Bund-Laender Commission for Educational Planning and Research Promotion (Bund-Länder-Kommission für Bildungsplanung und Forschungsförderung, BLK) decided on reorientation of pilot projects in the educational system. The new strategy for innovation in the educational system is built on medium-term plans and programs with shared participation of the 16 Laender. The main programs now running are 'Improving the Quality in the Educational System', 'Education for Sustainable Development' and 'Lifelong Learning'.

Concernig competition in excellence between the Laender, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Laender (Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, KMK) decided in October 1997 to foster comparison of schools and the quality of learning achievements within Germany. It therefore assigned a commission, including research institues, to organize national surveys. At the international level, the KMK decided in 1998 to participate in the 'Programme for International Student Assessment' (PISA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that monitors primarily reading, calculus and cross curricular competences of 15 year old pupils.

3. EFA decision-making and management

Who is consulted and who decides on major policy matters? Who manages or co-ordinates EFA actions? Is there a special national "EFA mechanism" (inter-ministerial committee, task force, presidential commission, advisory council, etc.); if so, who is a member and what are its responsibilities?

Major national EFA policy matters are decided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the State (Laender) Governments, represented by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Laender, and the Bund-Laender Commission Educational Planning and Research Promotion (BLK). Specific literacy and basic education measures as well as educational management are the responsibility of the Laender, whereas the Federal Government supports innovative projects, professional networking and research.

The BLK is a committee for educational planning and research promotion. It co-ordinates these matters federally and mediates between the Federal Government and the 16 Laender. Its research project 'innovation in the educational system' has regularly come up with policy recommendations (i.e. documents No. 71 / 1999 regarding the ‘improvement of quality in school and school systems’ and No. 72 / 1999 'education for sustainable development'). Pilot projects and programs are drawn up and monitored in co-operation with experts from universities, research institutes and NGO’s.

EFA policy matters concerning development co-operation are decided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, usually after consulting experts from various governmental and non-governmental organizations active in this field.

Given the existing structures for domestic and international education policy, no special additional EFA mechanism has been established.

4. Co-operation in EFA

Who actually provides basic education services and who finances them (government departments, local authorities, non-profit and community associations, commercial organizations, religious institutions, media groups, etc.)? Which of these domestic partners co-operate closely with the Government in defining and implementing the national EFA strategy and / or plan of action? What external agencies are co-operating closely with the Government in respect to EFA (UN agencies, regional bodies, bilateral donors, non-governmental organizations, etc.)?

Regarding international co-operation in "Education for All", the German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) implements the projects on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development. The German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW, Financial Co-operation) and the German Foundation for International Development (DSE), specializing in Human Resources Development, support basic education services which are implemented with German development aid.

On a multilateral level, the Federal Ministry for Economic and Development Co-operation is represented in the Steering Committee of the EFA-Forum.

The German Agency for Technical Co-operation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, GTZ) operates within the scope of the development policy formulated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, in close co-operation with partner governments. Also, the GTZ implements technical co-operation projects on behalf of the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the World Bank and the Commission of the European Union. At the end of 1995, about 80 education projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America were being assisted or were in the planning phase, of which approximately 60 were technical co-operation projects financed bilaterally by the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development. Between 1996 and 1998, nine additional projects involving technical co-operation were launched, two others are in the planning phase and six have been submitted to the Federal Ministry for approval.

Basic education is an appropriate field for co-operation, linking technical co-operation provided by the GTZ and financial co-operation administered by the German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, KfW). In terms of financial co-operation, promoting basic education has been given priority after the 1990 Jomtien Conference. In 1991, only two projects with a budget of DM 18.5 million were in progress; in May 1998, 43 projects amounting to about DM 1 billion were being implemented, and 13 projects with a provisional allocation of DM 175.1 million are in the planning phase. These figures include social investment funds, mainly in Latin America, spending more than 50 % of financial co-operation on primary schools and classrooms. Financial commitment in the education sector has clearly been directed towards basic education, amounting to 93 % of the actual FC commitments in education.

Following the Jomtien Action Plan, the German Foundation for International Development (Deutsche Stiftung für Internationale Entwicklung, DSE) reiterated its emphasis on improving the quality of formal and non-formal basic education. Basic education co-operation programs, mainly implemented in Africa, focussed on curriculum development in vernacular languages and the promotion of a literate environment. Examples for this are training of textbook authors to produce textbooks in African languages, and support of local publishing companies. DSE is also offering learning opportunities as part of in-service teacher training, straddling the issues of development, education and environment. This is part of an awareness creation program both in the North and South. In addition, DSE has successfully implemented programs in the field of educational planning and evaluation, by strengthening local capabilities for research and documentation. The latter activities are carried out in co-operation with UNESCO institutes such as the UNESCO Institute for Education (Hamburg / Germany) and the International Institute for Educational Planning (Paris / France).

A number of development NGO’s such as Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World), MISEREOR, the German UNICEF Committee and others, have intensified their efforts in basic education programs and projects throughout the nineties. They very often address goals formulated in the Jomtien Action Plan. Their main achievement has been the procurement of additional funds for basic education with partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. This development may be reflected in the Year 2000 Assessment of the respective countries.

Special attention is given to Adult Education as an instrument for strengthening democratic structures and civic participation and improvement of living conditions of marginalized groups. The Institute for International Co-operation of the German Adult Education Association (IIZ / DVV) has a wide range of programs and projects and partners in the field of Adult Education in almost every region of the world. The programs are primarily financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Commission of the European Union. They include literacy and basic education projects, vocational training for teachers and projects for enhancing social and democratic structures. Furthermore, the IIZ / DVV is represented in the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), a network of European Organizations active in the field of Adult Education directed towards improving co-ordination of educational co-operation programs of its member states.

General compulsary schooling in Germany involves 9 years (in some Laender 10 years) of full-time schooling. Pupils with writing and reading deficiencies are offered remedial classes. Young people who do not pass the leaving certificate of compulsory school can attend additional courses for pupils with special needs, mainly provided by community adult education centers and financed by the Federal Ministry and the Ministries of the Laender. These centers also offer 85 to 90 % of the literacy classes for functional illiterate adults. As the organizer of these programs, the German Adult Education Association (Deutscher Volkshochschulverband, DVV), can point to a great deal of success in this area. However, the problem with literacy work is that every adult education institute has to finance its own programs and each institute is dependent on the local authority ensuring its funding. For this reason, it is not possible to guarantee a full range of courses in absolutely every region of Germany.

The German Institute of Adult Education (Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung, DIE) has been playing a key role in putting functional illiteracy on the national agenda and in promoting innovative methods of literacy work and prevention of illiteracy. It co-operates closely with about a thousand adult education centers in the whole country. After German reunification, DIE completed a comparative survey of illiteracy and literacy work in the 5 new Laender. Two major projects are being carried out at the moment: the project 'Basic Skills Network' (April 97 to May 99) financed by the Federal Ministry is meant to intensify national dialogue in the field of adult education and basic education and ensure effective co-operation between different institutes, associations and private or community organizations active in this field. It is further intended to enhance the application of scientific findings to practical literacy campaigns. The second project offers training and qualification for instructors who teach people with very limited basic education. The latter is also supported within the framework of the SOKRATES-Program of the Commission of the European Union. Furthermore, in 1997 and 1999, the DIE awarded prizes for innovations in adult education in a national competition. In 1999, these prizes focussed on a 'new learning culture' and were won by five projects from different educational institutes. Recently, a new project focussing on literacy and basic skills of young adults entering working life 'Developing Job-Orientated Literacy and Basic Education' (July 1999 - October 2001), also financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has started.

In 1993, efforts for better co-operation in literacy work led to the establishment of a 'Federal Working Group on Literacy', involving various non-profit and community organizations. In 1997, this working group merged with the 'Schreibwerkstatt für neue Leser und Schreiber' (writing workshop for new readers and writers), an established non-profit organization founded in 1984. Together they set up the Federal Literacy Association (Bundesverband Alphabetisierung e.V.). The concerns and interests of some 153 private persons and 34 institutes and corporations working in the field of literacy and basic education are thus represented by one Federal non-governmental organization. Its principal goal is to form a national lobby for literacy work. In addition, the Federal Literacy Association participates in the European SOCRATES-Program Basic. Within the framework of this program, it develops teaching materials for job-orientated literacy courses

in co-operation with the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium.

In the past decade, a number of academies, both Catholic and Protestant, have been heavily involved in literacy work. The Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll in particular has been exemplary in its literacy work, i.e. by organizing an annual expert conference on social issues, including illiteracy.

The Trade Unions, represented by the Confederation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) also focuses on the importance of education in the context of the transformation process of society. The DGB promotes a broader vision of education, deeply embedded in social, economic and labor market policy. In 1998, it launched an appeal for Lifelong Learning and initiated a platform for a new dialogue on vocational education.

As the transition of society towards a learning economy and society involves a rising demand for moderately and highly skilled professionals and workers, German industry is also aware of the problem of functional adult illiteracy. The Institute of German Industry in Cologne (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, Köln) has published various studies about adult literacy in Germany.

5. Investment in EFA since 1990

Brief description of significant changes in public expenditure on primary schooling and other forms of basic education. Have there been notable changes in private sector expenditure on basic education? Changes in community and family expenditure? Changes in foreign assistance for basic education? What major new investments (e.g. school construction, literacy campaign, and provision of textbooks, etc.) have been made? Have there been changes in the pattern of recurrent expenditures (e.g. teachers' salaries, provision of learning materials)?

During the period 1991 to 1998, a total of DM 1.964 billion has been budgeted for bilateral co-operation projects and programs in basic education, including non-formal education. The progression of the allocations for the basic education sector is represented in the table below (p. 14 f). The Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development devides the budget allocations in financial co-operation provided by the KfW, technical co-operation provided by the GTZ alone (TC in the narrower sense) and technical co-operation provided by other development organizations, including DSE, church organizations and political foundations (TC in the wider sense).
However, as the Ministry constructs these data from different budget lines, the data presented have shortcomings. This is in particular relevant for multilateral co-operation. The contributions planed for multilateral education and basic education programs and projects cannot be outlined specifically. They roughly come up to 1/3 of the total budget for economic and development co-operation.

The bilateral allocations for basic education can be further specified as follows: In 1998, financial co-operation provided by the KfW amounted to about DM 9.0 million, technical co-operation provided by the GTZ alone was about DM 22.8 million for formal and about DM 5.2 million for non-formal basic education projects. Basic education programs by other development organizations co-financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic and Development Co-operation (TC in the wider sense) had a clear focus on non-formal education.

According to the data provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic and Development Co-operation, these programs had a volume of DM 63.0 million in non-formal basic education and DM 3.95 million in formal basic education (compare tables p. 14 f.).

The budget for bilateral co-operation projects in basic education represented 1.02 % of the total financial and technical co-operation, whereas the amount budgeted for the whole education sector was about 5.7 % of the total financial and technical co-operation. The respective figures for 1999 are 3.7 % and 9 %. The budgetary plan for 1999 envisages financial co-operation of about DM 70 million and technical co-operation provided by the GTZ of about DM 45 million for basic education. No data are as yet available for 1999 concerning the allocations to the other development organizations.

For the Year 2000, drastic cuts in the budgetary draft for international co-operation lead to a reduction of the allocation for basic education by half: Financial co-operation amounting to DM 35 million only and technical co-operation provided by the GTZ of about DM 17.85 million are being planned.
Regarding multilateral co-operation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development has approved two programs as Funds-in-Trust co-operation with UNESCO for a total amount of DM 1 million each. They support partner countries in monitoring high-quality statistical data on the development of basic education (EFA 2000 Assessment). Financial assistance from these projects will end by the year 2003.


(compare tables p. 14 - 15)

Budget Allocations of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for Basic Education from 1991 to 2000 (version 02-02-2000)

Table 1: Total Commitments to Basic Education in Mio DM

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

181,1

193,9

183,4

306,8

383,2

306,4

194,7

104,0

n.a.

n.a.

Table 1.1: Financial Cooperation (KfW) and Technical Cooperation (GTZ) only in Mio DM

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

20,9

32,6

67,8

150,3

270,2

158,8

111,2

37,0

115,0

52,9

Table 2: Total Commitments to Basic Education as Percentage of Overall Commitments to Education in Mio DM

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

24,8

23,3

21,2

32,7

48,9

33,8

27,9

20,1

n.a.

n.a.

Table 2.1: Financial Cooperation (KfW) and Technical Cooperation (GTZ) only as

Percentage of Total Commitments in Mio DM

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2,8

3,9

7,8

16,3

34,5

17,5

15,9

7,1

22,0

n.a.

Table 3: Total Commitments to Education as Percentage of Overall German Commitments in Mio DM

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

4,6

5,0

4,6

8,4

10,6

7,9

5,8

3,3

n.a.

n.a.

Table 3.1: Total Commitments to Basic Education as Percentage of Overall German Commitments in Mio DM

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

0,5

0,8

1,7

4,1

7,5

4,1

3,3

1,2

3,7

2,8

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Education

 

 

 

 

 

incl. Early Childhood Care and Non-Formal Education

 

 

 

 

 

(CRS Purpose Codes 11220, 11230, 11240)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Cooperation

Technical Cooparation

Technical Cooperation

Total

Share of column 5 in total

 

 

 

in the narrower sense

in the wider sense

 

official FC and TC

 

(FC)

 

(TC i.n.s.)

 

(TC i.w.s.)

 

 

in %

 

 

 

 

DM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1990

0

 

17.562.658

 

162.423.367

 

179.986.025

4,6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1991

0

 

20.935.287

 

160.196.993

 

181.132.280

4,6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1992

14.000.000

 

18.633.203

 

161.242.883

 

193.876.086

5,0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1993

10.000.000

 

57.849.997

 

115.571.690

 

183.421.687

4,5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1994

136.600.000

 

35.283.585

 

134.884.860

 

306.768.445

8,4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1995

233.500.000

 

36.691.235

 

113.000.398

 

383.191.633

10,6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1996

135.000.000

 

23.810.000

 

147.617.836

 

306.427.836

7,9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1997

68.000.000

 

43.240.000

 

83.517.080

 

194.757.080

5,8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998

9.000.000

 

27.950.000

 

66.882.142

 

103.832.142

3,3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1999

70.000.000

 

45.000.000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FC:

Projects financed by the German Fed. Government in form of credits and grants and executed by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)

TC i.n.s.:

Projects financed exclusively by the German Fed. Government and implemented by the German Ageny for Technical cooperation (GTZ).

TC i.w.s.:

Projects financed by German Non-Governmental Organizations and cofinanced by the Federal Government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figures in 1999 are not yet complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contents Next Page