Berlin focuses on education

The grand coalition wants to focus on reforming the education system. The 500 million euro qualification initiative approved by the cabinet at the beginning of the year is "an important, indeed central reform project for the second half of the legislative period," said Federal Education Minister Annette Schavan in the Bundestag on Friday. All young people should have the same opportunities for education in the future. our site presents the most important new regulations.

In addition to early childhood education, Schavan believes that better links between elementary schools and daycare centers are needed. Here the "first common educational phase" of the new educational system would arise. New structures in the school system should make it possible for every student to graduate from high school in the future. First the number of school dropouts should be halved.In the area of vocational training, there are plans to create additional training places by 2010 for 100,000 "old applicants" – i.e. young people who have not been offered a training place at the first attempt – by means of a "training bonus" for companies. And in higher education, the number of students is to be increased and more women are to be recruited for scientific courses of study.Scholz recalled that education for all was a "central promise" of the grand coalition government. Lack of education must not become a "stumbling block" in the path of life. One cannot and will not resign oneself to the fact that entire secondary school classes can no longer find apprenticeships. However, the economy is also in demand: "Those who do not train should not complain about a lack of skilled workers," he said. The federal government has done its homework and is helping to create 60,000 new apprenticeships a year with the training pact.
The new regulations at a glanceEARLY EDUCATION: Early childhood education in daycare centers is to be strengthened. A further training initiative for 80,000 educators and daycare staff will be launched in the spring, for which around two million euros will be made available.
TRAINING PLACES FOR OLD APPLICANTS: A training bonus for companies is to be introduced to attract additional in-company training places for unplaced applicants from previous years, i.e. young people who have not been offered a training place at the first attempt and who have no more than a Realabschluss (secondary school leaving certificate). The bonus for companies can be staggered between 4,000 and 6,000 euros, depending on the trainee's salary. A total of around 100,000 unplaced applicants from previous years are to be given a chance at an apprenticeship in this way over the next three years. The Federal Employment Agency (BA) is to provide the funds of around 350 million.
ADVANCEMENT SCHOLARSHIPS: The education system is to become more permeable. Therefore, according to the will of the federal government, in the future there will be advancement scholarships for those who qualify for university studies out of vocational training, i.e. who have not passed the Abitur (high school diploma). Scholarships should be based on Bafog rates. In addition, the "Meister-Bafog" (master craftsman subsidy) will be increased.
TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO UNIVERSITY: The federal government is sticking to its goal, set out in the coalition agreement, of attracting 40 percent of an age cohort to university studies in the future. The Central Office for the Allocation of Study Places (ZVS) is to be reformed into a service agency in agreement with the states in order to arrange study places better and more quickly than before.
COMBATING THE SHORTAGE OF SKILLED WORKERS: A "voluntary technical year" in a research institution or a company as an incentive for technical professions is to be funded with around four million euros. A pact specifically for women in MINT professions (MINT= mathematics, computer science, natural science, technology) is to convey realistic career images and motivate them to study a MINT subject.
FURTHER EDUCATION: Participation in continuing education to be increased to 50 percent by 2015. To this end, the federal government is working with the states, municipalities and social partners to establish a continuing education alliance.

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