Trip to learn from Ger­man ed­u­ca­tion


hit­tle­sea Eku­phum­leni High School prin­ci­pal Lizwe Ngalo has re­turned from his mis­sion of es­tab­lish­ing an ex­change pro­gramme for the school, teach­ers and pupils in Ger­many.

Ngalo said he had spent time vis­it­ing ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to as­sess sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences be­tween the Ger­man and South African ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems.

In Cologne, he vis­ited a spe­cial school for the dis­abled, Brauweller Gym­na­sium High School, a pri­mary school and a preschool.

“Ger­many is a fed­eral state and their ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem quite dif­fer­ent from that of South Africa’s. It is de­signed to suit the eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment of its prov­inces.”

His next town was Dus­sel­dorf. “I vis­ited Pestalozi High which is

105 years old and named after one of the great ed­u­ca­tion­al­ists of the

19th cen­tury. I was well re­ceived at the school and great in­ter­est was shown in form­ing a part­ner­ship with Eku­phum­leni.”

WHe said he was con­fi­dent a part­ner­ship would emerge as Eku­phum­leni hoped for a po­ten­tial visit from some of the Ger­man in­sti­tu­tions. “Ed­u­ca­tion is free in Ger­many and all the schools from the foun­da­tion phase to ter­tiary level are state-owned. The schools spe­cialise, which is why you find three prin­ci­pals in one com­pre­hen­sive school. Pupils who will ven­ture into art have their own head of depart­ment as though it was a univer­sity.”

Ngalo said the pupils stud­ied all sub­jects in pri­mary classes, adding that there was also an af­ter­school pro­gramme which took in pupils whose par­ents came home from work late.

“The state em­ploys teach­ers to as­sist the pupils with their home­work dur­ing that pe­riod.

In his leisure time, Ngalo vis­ited the Rhine Val­ley which is fa­mous for its fer­tile land and farm­ing.

“I also went to the Black For­est and the in­dus­trial city Mannheim where Mercedes-Benz and other Ger­man cars are man­u­fac­tured.”

He said the govern­ment had an agree­ment with com­pa­nies to take stu­dents into their in­dus­tries, while the youth in SA had qual­i­fi­ca­tions but no ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ngalo said Ger­many made a huge con­tri­bu­tion to curb­ing global warm­ing.

“They use bul­let trains, trams and elec­tric cars to re­duce car­bon emis­sion. Ger­man farm­ers plant or­ganic pro­duce, they be­lieve chem­i­cals and fer­tilis­ers will dam­age the en­vi­ron­ment and, as a re­sult, the cit­i­zens live much longer.”

He said the coun­try’s econ­omy was grow­ing fast.

“I be­lieve the strength of the Ger­mans is that they do not spend much time on things that will not boost their econ­omy. They value science and tech­nol­ogy which are at the fore­front in schools, along with sport.”

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

LEARN­ING CURVE: From left, prin­ci­pal of Otto-Hahn-Gym­na­sium in Ger­many Dr An­dreas Ramin, Whit­tle­sea Eku­phum­leni High School prin­ci­pal Lizwe Ngalo and Otto-Hahn teacher Kristina Waimer dur­ing Ngalo’s visit to Ger­many

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