Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning
A shortage of teachers, outdated curricula that have little to do with the reality of their lives, bullying and a lack of appreciation in communication. The children and young people in the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning find clear words for their criticism of the German school system. They agree: things cannot go on as they are. As a prelude to this year’s major meeting of the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning, schoolchildren from all over Germany invited politicians from the federal, state and local governments to their education summit (BiGi) in Berlin. Karin Prien, the President of the Conference of Ministers of Education, will also be there. And although she does not share some of the children’s and young people’s assessments, she agrees to also address her demands in the Conference of Ministers of Education. “It is very important for us as education politicians and also for the teachers and headmasters that they talk to you. I found it shocking to see how you perceive school,” says Karin Prien.
In the discussions with the members of the Bundestag Nina Stahr (speaker on education policy for the Greens) and Friedhelm Boginski (FDP member of the Bundestag Education Committee), the children and young people complain that they often do not feel that they are taken seriously in everyday school life. After all, their future is at stake. But most of them are not allowed to have a say about what and how they want to learn at eye level. “We want to be more involved in general – not just in education,” says Romy. The 13-year-old student from Münster took part in one of the ten youth workshops run by the Citizens’ Council and is now a children’s ambassador in Berlin to develop ideas as a team on how schools in Germany can function better and more fairly.
One of the children’s and young people’s central demands is that schools offer more “learning for life”. A suggestion that Karin Prien also agrees to in certain areas. In her state of Schleswig-Holstein, where she has been Minister of Education since 2017, there are already relevant school projects in which everyday topics, such as concluding contracts, can be learned. But basically, school is also about learning how to teach yourself things. She is critical of the fact that the curricula should be made more flexible: “They have never been as flexible as they are today,” says the education politician. In addition to the teachers, the KMK President also sees the parents as having a duty to fulfill their upbringing and educational mandate. But what if parents are so involved in their work that they don’t have time for it? Or the parents who have moved to Germany first have to orientate themselves?
The discussion with the politicians leaves the students with mixed feelings. They felt that they were being taken seriously, especially because the people they spoke to had different opinions on some points. However, they doubt that anything will really change. They want to continue their commitment to the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning: The Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning will run until at least the end of 2023. Until then and beyond, the children and youth ambassadors will continue to seek dialogue with politicians and those responsible in the education system.
The Education Summit (BiGi) for children and young people in the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning was the prelude to the second major session of the Citizens’ Council in Berlin. On September 17th and 18th, around 100 randomly selected people from all over Germany discussed possible improvements and ways of restructuring the German education system. This year, the Citizens’ Council is focusing its deliberations on the topics of equal opportunities and educational equity. The children’s ambassadors, who had exchanged views with politicians on Friday, also continued to work at the weekend: they added to their demands, planned further talks with education politicians and exchanged views with the citizens’ councils about their results.
+++The film about the BiGi & printable photo material:
About the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning
The Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning presented its first emergency program in December 2021 and has been in talks with politicians at federal, state and local level ever since. There were appointments with the education committees of the state parliaments in North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony, among others. Personal meetings of the children’s and citizens’ ambassadors were arranged with, among others, Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther, Saarland’s Prime Minister Anke Rehlinger and the Education Ministers Karin Prien (Schleswig-Holstein), Yvonne Gebauer (NRW) and Christine Streichert-Clivot (Saarland). . The SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken also informed herself about the work and the recommendations of the Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning in a personal conversation with the so-called “loss citizens”.
About the Montag Stiftung Denkwerkstatt
The Montag Stiftung Denkwerkstatt is an independent non-profit foundation and is one of the Montag Stiftungen in Bonn. In line with the mission statement of the foundation group “Acting and designing with social responsibility”, it takes on the task of identifying socially relevant, future-oriented topics, seeking constructive exchange with people from different walks of life and initiating processes of social change. The Montag Stiftung Denkwerkstatt designs, moderates and organizes events, dialogue forums and workshops for different groups of participants, for experts in various fields as well as for the general public.
About the Montag Foundations
The Montag Foundations are an independent, non-profit group of foundations in Bonn. It includes the Montag Foundation for Youth and Society, the Montag Foundation for Urban Spaces, the Montag Foundation for Art and Society and the Montag Foundation for Think Tanks. In line with the motto “Acting and designing with social responsibility”, the foundations each work independently and project-related in the fields of educational architecture, equal opportunity district development, participation in art, education in digital change, future concepts and inclusive all-day education.
The Carl Richard Montag Foundation, as the umbrella foundation and owner of the foundation’s assets, finances the project-related foundation work in the spirit of the founder, Carl Richard Montag. It is supported by the Montag Stiftung Denkwerkstatt as a source of inspiration and think tank, which is also responsible for strategic advice and the overarching communication and public relations work of the foundation group.
Stephan Tarnow, planpunkt PR
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Original content from: Citizens’ Council for Education and Learning, transmitted by news aktuell