“The level of education in Germany has deteriorated dramatically over the past ten years.” This is the result of the long-term analysis as part of the education monitor of the New Social Market Economy Initiative (INSM). In particular, there were negative developments in the areas of school quality, integration and educational poverty. The conclusion of the study authors of the German Economic Institute (IW): “Ten years of progress were followed by ten years of increasing pressure to act.”
Extreme differences in the individual federal states
There are again extreme differences in the individual federal states. Once again, Saxony, Bavaria and Thuringia did best. However, the level has also fallen in Saxony and Thuringia in the last ten years, while it has risen only minimally in Bavaria.
The bottom three, Brandenburg, Berlin and Bremen, have particularly great challenges. Baden-Württemberg has lost the most, currently in 5th place.
The study, which has been produced annually since 2004, includes 98 indicators. This ranges from the number of school dropouts per federal state to the number of newly awarded doctors who come from a university. Which state has the best education system? Who improved? Where is there a need for change in kindergarten, school, teaching and university? Click here for the full results of the 20th INSM Education Monitor
“Other countries are better at decoupling educational success from family background”
“The daycare centers and schools have not yet found a good answer to the fact that the student body has become significantly more heterogeneous in recent years, that an increasing proportion does not speak German at home or only have a few books in the household,” says IW study author Prof. Dr. Axel Plünnecke quoted in the communication.
“The result: the results of children from households with a migration background or from households with little education have fallen particularly sharply.” He criticizes: “There is a lack of quality in all-day and targeted support. International comparisons show that other countries are better than Germany at decoupling educational success from family origins.”
What demands the researchers make
Among other things, the researchers at the IW Cologne call for an expansion of early childhood education, more school autonomy, annual comparative work in all grade levels, targeted support and better administrative structures. More high-quality all-day offers are also needed. The supply of teachers must be secured through targeted allowances. The opportunities of digitization should be better used and democratic skills and cosmopolitanism should be taught.
“Germany is losing touch with the world leaders – for several years also in education policy”
INSM Managing Director Thorsten Alsleben calls for a “change in eras in education policy”. Germany is losing touch with the world leaders in many areas, including education policy for a number of years, says Alsleben: “Education is the key to getting Germany out of the downward spiral. When will the federal and state governments finally act?”
Alsleben is very critical of the fact that more and more children in primary school do not speak sufficient German: “Unfortunately, the challenges posed by massive immigration have overwhelmed many schools. The countries must change course and invest much more in early childhood education. We need compulsory pre-school for everyone who does not speak German or speaks German poorly.” Schools with a high proportion of students with language deficits should be much better equipped and the teachers concerned should be given more support, according to INSM’s demand.
Eight percent give the school system in their state the grade 6
By the way: Not only the experts are dissatisfied with the school system, but also the people in Germany. This emerges from another current survey by the ifo Institute. Only 27 percent of those surveyed rated the schools in their state as good or very good – after 38 percent in 2014. Eight percent gave the school system in their state a straight six. The authors of the Ifo study write that “the level of satisfaction among Germans with the school system has reached an all-time low”.
In the representative survey of over 5,500 adults, 79 percent said the quality of schooling had deteriorated during the corona pandemic. 77 percent consider the shortage of teachers to be a serious problem. The post-qualification of teachers for teaching in shortage subjects (79 percent) and the use of lateral entrants in shortage subjects (64 percent) would help. On the other hand, 81 percent of those surveyed reject an increase in classes.
About the study: The comparative study “Education Monitor” has been produced since 2003 by the German Economic Institute (IW) on behalf of the New Social Market Economy Initiative (INSM). 93 indicators are included in the annual comparative study, which are used to compare the education systems of the 16 federal states.
The Initiative New Social Market Economy is a non-partisan alliance of politics, business and science. It promotes the principles of the social market economy in Germany and provides impetus for a modern market economy policy. The INSM is financed by the employers’ associations of the metal and electrical industry.