Proposals of the Citizens’ Council: The way to a fairer education

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As of: 07/10/2023 6:19 p.m

The nationwide Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning has presented a series of recommendations on how to achieve more equal opportunities in the education system. The central formula of the committee is: learn together earlier, better and longer.

Achievement in school alone is not enough. Ultimately, who works where in Germany with which school or professional qualification still depends to a large extent on the level of education and the bank balance of the parents.

The problem has been known for years, but the recommendations of the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning revolve around the basics of equal opportunities, says Dieter Schulz, who is involved in the council.

“We would have to guarantee that everyone has a chance of getting through their initial training the way they think and how they are inclined,” says Schulz. “Regardless of parents, also of the social environment, how I am supported – that must be guaranteed. And we have identified very, very big hurdles.”

Two mandatory years of daycare?

The creation of equal opportunities should start early, according to the council, with a day care center offensive: more offers, more resources, more staff – this way language deficits could be addressed early. Whether this should also include two compulsory years of daycare before starting school is a question on which there was no consensus even in the council, according to Citizens Council member Caroline Kowol.

The subject of compulsory daycare controversial, according to Kovol. It is about creating periods of time “in which the children can also learn about such educational principles.”

Ideal of a heterogeneous learning community

More all-day schools, a separation of school types only after middle school – many of the Citizens’ Council’s ideas aim to maintain a heterogeneous learning community as early, as much and as long as possible, so that the stronger and weaker can compensate or support each other. The President of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Berlin Senator for Education Katharina Günther-Wünsch is divided on this.

I think community school is a good place to start, but it’s not the panacea. It has many good aspects, but other schools must also be able to work inclusively. And that’s what I always promote. We have community schools, which, incidentally, now exist in almost every federal state with a wide variety of terminology. But we also have studies that say that the effects we are hoping for do not exist everywhere.

Berlin’s Education Senator Katharina Günther-Wünsch

Parents and students, police officers or biodiversity advisors sit on the Citizens’ Council: almost 300 randomly selected people from mainstream society have developed proposals for improving equal opportunities in the education system. The colorful mixture of very different perspectives is what should make the citizens’ councils successful. Their recommendations are now available, but their work continues.



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