On November 27, 2019, Georgia and the World published an article titled „European Education System is in Deep Crisis, and we are Peremptorily Adopting this System ”. The author of the article indicates that in German schools the education level is lower than average, that the higher education level has been declining since signing the Bologna Declaration, and that a large portion of students is satisfied with Bachelor’s degrees. The material had been written based on vestifinance.ru article with a similar title: “Germany – a Crisis in Education System”.
The author of the article describes the German education system through manipulations and assesses the country’s average education level based on the results of a PISA study, conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 18 years ago. According to 2015 PISA study, German pupils moved in reading, mathematics, and science from 25th, 27th, and 28th places, respectively, to the 16th place. It is manipulative to claim that the number of students who cancelled their studies has significantly increased and that German students do not continue their studies to Master’s level. According to the OECD data from 2019, the number of issued higher education degrees increased by 8% in 2018, as compared to 2008, whereas 46% of the holders of undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degrees own Master’s degrees as well.
Since 2001, the average education level in Germany has significantly improved.
In 2001, i.e. 18 years ago, OECD conducted a test of school pupils via so-called PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) method. According to the results of the study, German pupils came 27th in reading, 28th in mathematics, and 25th in science. This event was labelled “PISA shock”, and it pushed the Government of Germany to carry out some in-depth reforms:
- Study hours were increased from 4 to 6.5;
- Access to early education was given to children from age 1;
- Schools were given more autonomy;
- Tests for teacher candidates were introduced;
- National standard for measuring pupils’ performance was introduced.
According to the 2015 PISA study by OECD, German students moved from the aforementioned positions to the 16th place.
Attendance of pupils improved, too. According to a study conducted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany in 2016, the attendance of pupils at mandatory, half-mandatory, and optional classes significantly improved in 2014, as compared to 2002.
In 2018, the number of higher education degree holders increased by 8%.
According to 2019 OECD data, the number of higher education institution students in Germany increased in the last 10 years. In 2005-2017, the number of students increased by 3% on average, which is 2% higher than the analogous index of other countries.
As of 2018, 32% of people aged 25-34 were holders of higher education degrees, which is 8% higher than the analogous index from 2008. The same study notes that the number of higher education institution students is not as high as the average of other OECD countries (44%), which is due to Germany’s strong professional education system – high school graduates often prefer to learn professional skills instead of following an academic path. Nevertheless, the number of higher education institution students was growing between 1995 and 2015.
Prepared by Guka Gudashvili
Regional Network of Myth Detector Lab