The BMZ's commitment

Promoting education – a priority area of German development policy

As part of a German development cooperation program, a primary school is being built in Liberia.

Promoting education is a priority area of German development policy. In February 2012, the BMZ published a strategy setting out the German government's development policy objectives in education.

The guiding vision of the BMZ's education strategy is lifelong learning – from early learning through primary and secondary education, vocational and higher education to adult education. The BMZ's approach is a holistic one that puts people at the centre, includes all the relevant actors and strengthens education systems overall. The important cross-cutting issues are quality of education and equality of opportunity in access to quality education. Hence the BMZ promotes inclusive education that takes account of the diversity of learners and excludes no one.

Informal learning and forms of non-formal education are also covered. These extra-scholastic forms of learning geared to specific work and life situations reach people who have not previously had access to the formal education system. They include adult literacy classes, training programmes for apprentices in micro-enterprises, and health and nutrition courses for young mothers.

Ten Objectives for More Education

The BMZ has set itself 10 strategic objectives to improve the quality of education in its partner countries and to promote non-discriminatory access to education:

  • Educational opportunity instead of educational deprivation
  • Promote education on a holistic basis
  • Improve the quality of and access to basic and secondary education
  • Further expand vocational education and training
  • Promote higher education and knowledge for future elites
  • Create equal opportunities for girls and boys and women and men
  • Innovative approaches in education
  • Strengthen dialogue and raise effectiveness
  • Utilise private-sector potential for education
  • Inspire support and engagement for education.

Rising commitments for education promotion

Germany promotes education in almost all the partner countries of German development cooperation and is currently the largest donor in this field.

In 2012 alone, the German government provided 1.34 billion euros for the promotion of education in developing countries, 690 million euros of which came from the German federal states (Länder) to meet the cost of university places in Germany for students from developing countries.

The BMZ plans to make still more money available in the future for the promotion of education, concentrating on cooperation with African states, where the need is considered to be great and the potential high.

Expanding multilateral engagement

Alongside its engagement at intergovernmental level, Germany plans to strengthen its input into multilateral organisations. German participation in the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will be stepped up through, inter alia, further financial contributions and bilateral support to the GPE Secretariat in Washington D.C..

UNESCO, with which Germany cooperates closely, is a major multilateral partner in education development. For example, Germany supports publication of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report through funding and substantive inputs.

Lighthouse projects

Projects known as 'lighthouse projects' encapsulate well the BMZ's strategic vision. A regional primary and secondary education programme has been launched to help Germany's partner countries in Africa improve their national education strategies and make better use of international funding (German BACKUP Initiative - Education in Africa). A voucher programme is being trialled in Ghana as a new financial instrument in vocational education and training. In addition, Germany is assisting the African Union to set up of a pan-African university and promote training for journalists and other media professionals.

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