Education in East Germany
The education system in the GDR was with the law on the democratization of the German school as a unit school since 1946 in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ ).
The education system has been reformed twice fundamentally. 1959 was introduced as a unitary type of school for all students with the law on the socialist development of the school system, the ten-year general polytechnical school (POS). The provisions of the law on the unitary socialist education system from 1965 given the school system of the GDR to its end.
The education monopoly the state had in the GDR. The centrally organized education was under so that the SED. Years of Popular Education Minister was 1963-1989 Margot Honecker. There were, with one exception ( Theresa Catholic School in Berlin -Weissensee ), no state-approved private schools.
The education system had besides the knowledge the task of political- ideological education. Therefore also political demands were made in addition to technical to 185,000 at the end of the GDR working there teachers.
- 3.1 hours beginning
- 3.2 appeal
- 3.3 Street of the Best
- 3.4 Gruppenrat
- 3.5 Pioneer afternoon
- 3.6 Patenbrigade
- 4.1 The structure of the schools in the Soviet occupation zone 4.1.1 new teachers
- 7.1 Criticism and reform discussion
- 7.2 Short-term changes
- 7.3 The debate about the unity school
The Education Act of 1965 formulated the aim of establishing, " on all sides and harmoniously developed socialist personalities ". At a high general education for all young people who should convey the POS, built on the special education, in skilled worker training, extended schools ( EOS ) and special schools, was study facilities such as technical and engineering schools as well as colleges and universities, and various training courses.
Mediated at the POS General education was strongly oriented towards natural sciences and technology. A special feature was the Polytechnic education, which should create a close connection to the world of work at an early stage and should make the student with the " socialist production " familiar. Also in further education institutions an integration of theoretical and practical training, learning and productive activity was aimed at.
An important principle of the educational system of the GDR was the "unity of education ". The children and young people should become fully-fledged members of the " socialist society " and who identify with the state. The entire school system was a strong ideological and militarized. The ideological system of the GDR ran through the contents of several school subjects. Military education was, from 1978 also as a specific military instruction, part of school education. Of the students involvement in the sense of the social system of the GDR was expected. The recreational activities at the schools by the pioneering organization Ernst Thalmann and the Free German Youth was geared mainly ideological.
For access to all further education institutions were the necessary background to varying degrees political criteria such as the " social commitment " of the students, and later also the obligation of the boys to a longer service in the NVA, the occupation of parents or a membership in mass organizations or even the SED crucial.
Structure of the education system
With the last major revision in 1965 and the restructuring in the 1970s, the education system of the GDR was virtually unchanged until German reunification and stood as follows:
The supervision of the nativity nature lay with the Ministry of Health, the cribs were but the school system. The nursery took children aged from a few weeks to up to 3 years. For the mothers, it was observed a guard time before the kids on weekdays could be placed in the crib, so that for a healthy mental development of the child highly important mother - child bond of the first five to six weeks of life is not damaged or would be destroyed.
The main task of the Nativity was taking care of the children. The well-developed medical care was aimed to support children's development in all areas; there were many regular examinations of high diversity. In addition to physical examinations a continuous monitoring of mental and cognitive development of the children took place. Any speech problems promptly attended to a speech therapist. Also psychomotor disorders were treated at an early stage of medical specialists. Furthermore, the nursery care of the completely seamless vaccination; rejecting vaccinations by the parents was not possible.
In the crib already started the educational early learning of children. Since the 60s, the work was therefore carried by a state education plan called "Pedagogical tasks and procedures in cribs ," comparable to the state's " educational plan" for the kindergartens. Habituation of children at a fixed, regular daily routine, systematic mental occupation beginning with the completion of the first year of life, a lot of sports and exercise in the fresh air, the Trockensein before the end of the second year of life, intelligence formative games, playing music, painting, etc. was central to the daily education of children. The interpersonal behavior should be well adapted to the norms of the collective, so polite, nonviolent dealing with each other, mutual help, propriety, compliance with rules and common denial of the day were important elements of nursery care.
The crèches followed the principle of school days, had so open all day. Usually 6 to 18 clock clock, sometimes to 19 clock In many cities, week cribs were established in which, depending on why the inclusion of the children was carried out (for example, for diseases of the single mother ), they were taken for the business days, but sometimes also for constantly.
The cribs fee per child per month was 27.50 marks. The development density of the care network reached DDR far in the 80s 80 %, ie 80% of the children there were places. Peak values were 99 % in some metropolitan areas. The staff-student ratio was 1:5, 3 cribs baby nurses or teachers took care of 15 children. As a rule, some children were not every day in the facility, the number of registered children was often much higher.
The job descriptions infant sister and creches governess were traditional - like all educational and pedagogical professions in the GDR - academic professions and required a multi-year technical college degree.
The kindergarten children in care at the age of four and had a contract to encourage the children to school readiness. Unlike in the Federal Republic of Germany so that the kindergarten teachers had a clearly defined educational mission and were, consequently, the Ministry of Education assumed. In kindergarten the children the simple set theory ( calculating with arithmetic rods in the numbers up to 10), painting, singing and artistic design were taught ( for example, kneading ), the children made their first attempts at writing. The education in kindergarten also contained already civic elements and began with a political education within the meaning of socialism. Mostly there were also denominational kindergartens.
Polytechnic High School
The Polytechnic High School (POS ) introduced in 1959 the basic type of school the GDR dar. The majority of the children started school at six or seven years after a medical school suitability check. This date was the 31st of May; Children who were six years old, after that day, came to rule until the following year in the school. Exceptions to this rule ( with the date of 31 August) were on parental request and with the consent of the doctor or the doctor who conducted the school suitability check, possible. A downgrade because of developmental delay was rare.
From December 1959, the POS was divided into the Lower School (1st - 4th grade) and high school (5th - 10th grade). This was differentiated with the Education Act of 1965 on. The organization now has involved three steps, the lower grades ( 1st-3rd class. ) Were taught in the basics of specially trained sublevels teachers who Intermediate ( 4th-6th grade. ) - 5th grade has been the core subjects to Russian as the first foreign language and other subjects (from 5th grade: History, Geography, Biology, from 6th grade in addition: Physics ) greatly expanded - and the school ( 7th - 10th grade, now also from 7th grade. chemistry, in Astronomy class 10 ), in which the polytechnic education played a greater role.
The POS was terminated with written exams in Russian, German, mathematics and natural science (selection between physics, chemistry and biology) as well as a physical test and subsequent 2-5 oral exams. The diploma of the POS corresponded approximately to the present-day high-school diploma ( high school ) and is now generally recognized as such. These financial statements are authorized for admission to vocational training and to study at one of the many colleges (equivalent depending on the design direction of West German vocational schools, technical schools or predecessor institutions of technical colleges ). The premature termination of the POS after the eighth or less frequently after the ninth grade was possible at the request of the parents and with the approval of the school. With the appropriate leaving certificates vocational training could in certain occupations, mainly in the areas of industrial production, trade and agriculture, be taken that often but a year lasted longer and ended with a semi-skilled worker qualification. A leaving certificate of the 9th class of the POS is now equivalent to a secondary school, as a rule, just a leaving certificate from 8th grade in conjunction with a subsequent skilled worker certificate.
For admission to the EOS or vocational training with high school a second language was necessary.
Advanced high school and vocational training with High School
On the Advanced High School (EOS) students were able to take the Abitur. It consisted of classes 9 to 12, since 1983 - apart from the special schools - only from the classes of 11 and 12 In the 1960s, the visit of the Extended high school was associated with a vocational training for which there was a list of some professions in question. Only a certain number of students a year group was an EOS visit (7 % to more than 10 % of an age ). The later high school graduates were so up to and including Class 8 ( later 10) fully integrated into the POS. For admission to the EOS a certain political " reliability " and also the social background of the parents were in addition to the services of the professional desire to prevail. The origin of the "working class" was here at least until the mid-1960s an advantage after the first generation, these "positive discrimination" but weakened steadily.
For obtaining the baccalaureate, there was still the possibility of three years of vocational training to high school, connecting vocational training with further education with the aim of laying the baccalaureate at a vocational school after the 10th grade. However, the number of apprenticeships and the types of apprenticeships offered were limited ( less than 5 % of an age ). Students at the EOS was paid during vocational training apprentices with High School received a training allowance, training aid (since 1981, 100 marks in the 11 and 150 marks in 12th grade ).
In addition, there was at some universities and colleges a year-long preparatory course for young skilled workers to acquire higher education. The acquired higher education specialist and was entitled to the study of business and technical disciplines. A subsequent study with the career goal teacher at the POS was possible. Requirement was that the vocational training professionally fitted for the study.
With high school or higher education studies could be started. Requirement for men was the approval of the military district commands. Unless specific reasons against it spoke, the military service before the study was abzuleisten. During the study, there was usually no interruptions due to military service, with the exception of a 5 -week reserve duty during the 3rd or 4th semester. Because the limitation on the number of students on admission to the High School took place, was for each high school graduates a university place - though not necessarily in the desired field of study - available.
An additional way of access to higher education was in a previous special education (eg, as an engineer or as a nurse or nurse ).
Comparable to night school in the Federal Republic, there was also the possibility to prepare for the general higher education at the community college. To be admitted to the so-called Evening High School it required the approval of the local school board.
A special role in East German school system played, especially in the early years, the workers ' and peasants' faculties ( ABF), which represented a particular form of promotion and led to the high school.
As a special school all institutions of public education were referred to, where by special school educational measures physically or mentally disabled children and young people within their capabilities to full as possible members of a socialist society should be formed and educated. Among the special schools were in addition to the known auxiliary schools for mentally handicapped or learning disabled children, the physically disabled, blind, partially sighted, deaf (wrongly as deaf - called ), hard of hearing and speech therapy schools and schools for nerve -damaged children.
In addition, schools and classes had in hospitals and medical and rehabilitation facilities (for spas) are also special education status.
For gifted students, there was a diverse system of special schools. Sometimes it was also special classes that were administratively a POS or an EOS connected. The so-called Russian schools that were visited from the 3rd class, as well as the children's and youth sports schools ( KJS ) were known. Next, there were special schools for music, mathematics, science, electronics, old or new languages. The special schools started in different grade levels. A few special classes had because of the additional teaching a 13th grade, and for some special schools was not a public choice, as for the so-called diplomats schools with extensive modern languages teaching. In the beginning in earlier grades specialized schools usually had a smooth transition to high school phase (EOS).
A special feature was the special schools and special classes that were connected to a university or college and served as special classes for mathematics, physics or chemistry or as special music schools for the gifted students in mathematics and science or in the musical field.
The folk high school was integrated as a state institution in the public school system since 1956 and was under the Ministry of National Education. It was developed to be a " night school for working people ", awarded certificates and taught by a mandatory curriculum. Main task was the regular school system assimilated lessons to catch up on school qualifications, in particular the very limited on the first baccalaureate education attainable. There were special courses for shift workers that took place either before or after noon. The final examinations were held on the same day as the EOS. From the 1970s a return to old traditions took place. It general courses in foreign languages , natural sciences, art and culture were increasingly being offered again. However, the predominant form of event was of course. Was financed by the offer from the state, tuition fees were collected only at very low altitude ( at school completion rates 1 Mark, with other courses 3 Mark each for 20 hours).
Ideology in everyday school life
One of the first exercises of the students it was that they learned to stand and wait until they were asked to sit at the entry of the teacher.
The mid-1950s began the first hour of the week with the singing of a song that was often a folk song. The basis for this was the new life by the publisher Berlin 1952 published song book of the Free German Youth. During Advent each school day began with an appropriate song. Later this was replaced by the beginning of each hour, a previously appointed pupil teacher readiness of the students had to be reported to class when entering the class ( " Mr / Mrs / Miss ... that class ... is to class prepared. "). Since the vast number of students in the 1970s was finally pioneer or FDJ - ler, the class starts were revised after entering the teacher. To the beginning of class rose the class and it was the greeting of the pioneer organization (teacher: " For Peace and Socialism, be ready " class: " Always ready !") Or the FDJ (teacher: " Friendship! " Class: " Friendship " ) was used. Subsequently, the class sat down again.
At the beginning of the school year, the end of the school year and on the occasion of special events, an appeal was held. In the 50s the week was with a flag ceremony, before the first hour, to begin and end on Saturday afternoon as well.
Since the information options were very limited, was on special features in school operations noted on this occasion, made known changes in the composition of the faculty and referred to special events. Also particularly striking behavior of individual students and was named the pupil / student who had come forward, that he / she stood in front in front of all in view of each student in addition to the teacher responsible for the appeal.
All students contributed to this event as early as the 1950s, the uniform of the Pioneer organization and the FDJ, unless they were a member.
An appeal was usually held in the gym, on a farm or in the auditorium of the school. All classes marched (and sometimes marching music ) in class or took a class by class formation.
At the end of the school year were under the Appelles also badges, awarded for exceptional academic, athletic, or political benefits. Because usually in June, initially always held a sports day at school on the day of the child, that honors the best sportsmen of the day was associated with it. In the 60s and later took advantage of representatives of industry, who had accompanied the class through the school year as members of the Godfather Brigades, the opportunity for recognition of those students who were often not the best performers, but had achieved through their efforts better results. Due to the variety of sponsorships this was later moved to the classrooms on the issue of certificates.
Street of the Best
In some schools, the portraits of the best in class students were shown publicly in the school by name. Thus, the tradition of the Street of the Best was taken from production companies.
The members of the Pioneer organization of a class chose a Gruppenrat. The group consisted of Gruppenrat Council President, deputy, secretary, cashier, agitator and friendship councilor. The Gruppenrat stayed in contact with the class teacher and assumed a similar function as a class representative.
Members of the Pioneer organization of a class met regularly under the guidance of the class teacher to extracurricular activities. Pioneer afternoons served both the ideological influence as well as recreational activities.
The Patenbrigade was a group of employees ( brigade ) of an industrial company or an agricultural cooperative that took over the sponsorship of a school class. They often lasted for the entire school a class. The students visited together the brigades in their work environment. In return Brigade representatives were at important school events such testimony handovers etc. with present.
The structure of the schools in the Soviet occupation zone
The beginning of education in the former Soviet occupation zone were characterized by a comprehensive exchange of teachers. In addition to about 71% of former Nazi party members, who were regarded as the biggest problem, could not be used, a large part of the learning agents due to their inherent Nazi ideology. In many places, rested the lessons and was only resumed in September 1945.
On 27 July 1945, the Central Administration for National Education ( ZfV ) was created by a decree of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD ), whose task was the preparation of proposals for the design of the school system. With the command # 40 of SMAD originated in the Soviet zone of provisional legal framework that should allow the schools a regular classroom. For now, the old school forms elementary school, middle school and high school have been retained. However, no general private schools more were taken into account, thus the state in the Soviet Zone the school monopoly was assured. Like all important committees was occupied by a man also ZfV at the top, to which the Soviet government had full confidence; in this case it was Paul Wandel, the former chief editor of the " Red Flag ", the central organ of the Communist Party.
Other Policies of ZfV and SMAD to reinstate the teacher, recognized that NSDAP members and active members of other Nazi organizations were to remove from the education service. Reinforced should set the teachers back, who had been fired or reprimanded by the Nazis. But in the initial phase, a strict adherence to these guidelines would have the inclusion of a comprehensive school lessons are not allowed, were provisionally also Nazi Party members who were born after 1920, remain in the teaching profession.
Understanding concerns of education policy in the Soviet Zone was a new faculty. This also control the SED should be ensured through the school. In the short term was not possible a university education of a large number of teachers. The new teachers should be recruited according to the will of the new rulers of the " democratic- antifascist circles of the German intelligence", but also the working class. Another criterion was that when hiring new teachers, especially younger are preferred. Thus, in the years to 40,000 people who have already had a professional training and / or came directly from a prisoner of war, trained in short courses to so-called lay teachers and new teachers. With their training and educational reform approaches from the time of the Weimar Republic were taught occasionally, but not coined the school day. The new teachers in the 1940s and 1950s were to the 1980s, a substantial part of the East German teachers. New teachers who do not successfully passed until 1954, the then three-year teacher training, were dismissed.
1949 were already 67.8 % of all teaching positions filled by new teachers. 47.7 % of these new teachers were members of the SED, 13 % of the Liberal Democratic Party and 10 % of the CDU, which were brought into line to block parties. Thus, the control of the SED over the school system was largely achieved.
Law on the democratization of the German school
In early summer 1946, the law on the democratization of the German school for the countries of the Soviet occupation zone was passed. It was groundbreaking in for the next 20 years and thus far in the time, which was founded only three years later GDR. The law was the starting point for the redesign of the entire school system in the Soviet Zone. The differentiated system disappeared in the fall of 1946 in favor of a complex unit school system consisting of several uniformly organized school forms. The eight -year elementary school was the core component and was transformed through a variety eventful reforms gradually in the ten-year general polytechnical school.
Noteworthy here was that the school unit already in the education of 3 to 6 year old a statutory objective of education, namely, the preparation for school, put it. Thus, the education claim was extended "downwards " towards.
The following school laws were effective in the GDR:
- Law on the democratization of the German school. from July 1, 1946 - DECEMBER 2 1959.
- Compulsory education law of DDR: Law on compulsory education in the German Democratic Republic on 15 December 1950 - December 2, 1959
- First school law of the GDR Law on the socialist development of education in the German Democratic Republic December 2, 1959 - February 25, 1965
- 2 School Act of the GDR: law on the unitary socialist education system on 25 February 1965 - until the entry into force of the school laws of the federal states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony -Anhalt and Thuringia, the Federal Republic of Germany in the years 1991 / 1992
Notes and accounts
In the GDR there was for the students five note values :
The witness also stood by the grades in each subject, the so-called top notes ( conduct, order, diligence, cooperation and to 1978 in addition overall behavior ). Furthermore, there was at the end of school year a detailed assessment in the school report. Evidence there was in the school year 1953/54, three times a year, in the subsequent period then as mid-year report in February before the winter holidays and in July for the school year before the summer holidays. A score of 5 or more notes 4 on the Endjahreszeugnis (except head notes) joined the offset from the next higher class. The rule for this has been amended several times. The certificates were signed by the legal guardian, it was controlled by the school teachers after the holidays.
The certificates were initially labeled on both sides of an A5 sheet. She remained with the student, but had to be shown to the teacher with the signature of both parents at the beginning of the school year, the noted this in the class book. Later, by the end of the 1970s, the grades were entered in a school report in the format A 5: This was a few years later replaced by a certificate folder made of imitation leather. She served each student up to 10th class to store its certificates and remained with him, however, was collected for the report cards. In some schools the testimony portfolios were issued only to the winter and summer holidays and then collected again and kept in the Secretariat.
At the end of 10th grade and high school there was a special diploma. In the end there was a total predicate that were composed of the services within the school year and the achievements of the oral and written examinations: With Distinction, Very well composed, well passed Satisfactory passed, Passed, Failed. As additional recognition was awarded in gold (all subjects with grade 1 ) or silver (maximum two compartments with the score 2) for degrees with distinction Lessing Medal. The overall grade could only be two grades better than the worst part note and just a touch better than the worst rating in the main compartment. These evaluation criteria changed from time to time.
Class days and holidays
A school day consisted in the later school years from an average of six hours of instruction. By the school year 1989/1990 the regular school day was Saturday, but only two to three lessons were taught in the lower and not more than five lessons in the higher grade levels. From the 7th grade there was part of the week one to two additional lessons as " zeroth hour " (ie possibly at 7 clock or earlier) or in the afternoon. Optional classes were, for example, are often held in these hours to allow the participation of pupils from different parallel classes. Teaching was dependent in the early afternoon 13 to 14 clock, the exact times were of the school year and the number of teaching hours.
Holiday dates were DDR - uniformly. The school year began on September 1, or one to two days later, when it fell on a weekend. For children starting school the beginning was mostly on Monday after September 1, as the weekend was previously used for the Back to School Celebration. The following holiday dates were common:
- One weeks holiday autumn (mid-October )
- The days between Christmas and New Year
- Three weeks winter break (February)
- One week spring break (mid-May )
- Eight weeks summer holidays (last day of school was the first Friday in July ) at the end of the school year
After classes, there was the possibility to acquire additional knowledge and skills in working groups. Working groups, there were many areas, for example, electronics, languages , mathematics, health, biology, chemistry, sports, music, choir and others. Mostly, they were led by teachers, some by parents, members of the Patenbrigade or from the Pioneer organization.
The transformation of the education system during the turn
Criticism and reform discussion
While the transformation of the education system was accompanied in the second half of the 1940s by extensive discussions, any public criticism of the school system or a critical scientific support was prohibited " law on the socialist development of the school system " in 1959 at the latest since the adoption of. A critical discussion took place within the churches. Here in particular the introduction of military instruction in the POS in 1978 and the discrimination in church -bound young people at admission was discussed to further education courses.
With the changes in 1989 quickly arose a variety of initiatives, the criticism practiced in the educational system and proposals for change made . However until the end of 1989 reached more than 8,000 suggestions and inputs the Ministry of National Education.
Key points of discussion were:
- The lack of equity in access to higher education courses should be abolished and access in accordance with the merit principle be guaranteed.
- The right of parents to the education of children, especially in philosophical and religious questions should be ensured.
- As educational goals maturity and individuality instead of education should be to socialist personalities.
- The abolition of ideological indoctrination and altered gesellschaftskundliche Education
- The reduction of bureaucratic paternalism and centralized control of schools
- Advanced participation rights for students, parents and teachers.
The individual and groups of political parties participated in this discussion and formulated their own goals and priorities. So called for the Green Party in the GDR to anchor peace and environmental education in the curriculum, the liberal parties called for increased support for the gifted, admission free education providers and the free choice of school and the United Left called for the election of school directors of the school collectives. Even the renamed PDS SED was critical of the hypocrisy in previous education.
Also, the central round table on education, education, youth spoke out in a position paper of 5 March 1990 for comprehensive reforms. Thus, legal provisions on equal opportunities and the right to lifelong education would need to be created. The paper contained a commitment to 10 -year-old mainstream school, but also the demand for the option to allow independent schools. But is essential at first an analysis of the educational situation and following a " profound educational reform "
A number of changes in the education system were made spontaneously since the resignation of Margot Honecker in 1989 and implemented by the transitional government Modrow. As early as October 1989 found no lessons in military education held more formally instructed to do so by the Ministry on 15 December 1989. Also accounted for the civics lesson. The substitute gave social studies classes were (as well as the teaching of history ) initially issued by a free decision of the teachers. In January 1990, the Ministry of Education issued a transitional design that was agreed with the reform groups. Even after new framework in March 1990 plans were published, there was still great uncertainty. In particular, the fact that the same teachers who were responsible for the "red light irradiation " responsible before, now should teach social studies and the lack of textbooks was discussed intensively. 1990 26.5 million textbooks were printed by the people and knowledge publishing and 2.46 million school books donated from the West as a " textbook tool".
The teaching of foreign languages also turned into a very short time. One of the demands of the citizens was the free choice of the first foreign language. The Ministry of Education on the one hand was the demand of the parents are not close, but decreed the other hand do not have enough teachers with knowledge of English. As early as November 1989, the Russian teachers were therefore encouraged to seek part-time schools in English. In the school year 1990/91 is 80 to 90 % of the students chose English instead of Russian as a second language.
Furthermore, the 5 -day week was introduced in the schools and private schools initiated during the revolution days. A formal approval of private schools, but was only with the " Constitutional Law on independent schools " of 22 July 1990.
The debate about the unity school
The positions of the parties on the question of school organization were far apart. The first free parliamentary election, the PDS insisted on the existing unit school, the SPD called for the transformation of the school unit in comprehensive schools and the Alliance for Germany campaigned for the introduction of the divided school system. Although the proponents of the divided school system after the election had a clear majority in parliament, the question of the school system was initially excluded because this question was moot within the grand coalition formed. The Unification Treaty transferred the responsibility for the school system to the newly formed countries. This resulted in the consequence to different national legal regulations.
In Brandenburg, the SPD became the strongest party and wanted to introduce the whole school as a regular school. The coalition partners in the Brandenburg traffic light coalition prevailed however, that in addition to the comprehensive schools and high schools and junior high schools could be founded, if it corresponded to the parents will.
In Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania, the state government preferred a tripartite school system, but had in the legislative process also recognize comprehensive schools as equal of school. The situation was similar in Saxony- Anhalt, where the comprehensive school was admitted as a derogation.
No comprehensive schools provide the education laws in Thuringia and Saxony. In Thuringia, however, can be set up at the request of comprehensive schools, provided an appropriate educational concept is present (example: comprehensive school Jena). In Saxony, there was the peculiarity that the only ruling CDU provided for a two brisk school system from middle school and high school.