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Information and education work

Global learning at school


A school exchange in the Philippines within the scope of the ENSA school exchange programme. Copyright: Uwe BergerIn which subject do German school­children learn that the denim used to make their jeans has already clocked up tens of thousands of kilo­metres, from African cotton plan­ta­tions to Indian textile factories to the local branch of their fa­vour­ite high-street chain store? Concrete examples based on their every­day life can help children under­stand how the work performed by people in Africa and Asia correlates to the prices they pay in German stores. Armed with this knowledge they can campaign for fair working conditions and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment both in Germany and in distant de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

To ensure that global learning is in­cor­por­at­ed into school lessons, the Federal Ministry for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment and the Standing Con­fe­rence of the Ministers of Edu­ca­tion and Cul­tur­al Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany have together drawn up guide­lines for the subject area of global de­vel­op­ment. These are intended to help schools to teach global eco­nom­ic, political, social and eco­lo­gi­cal inter­re­la­tions on an inter-disciplinary basis. Im­por­tant partners out­side the schools include non-governmental organisations.

At the same time the BMZ offers schools ideas on how to trans­late the frame­work of reference into practice. One suggestion is the Federal President's All for One World – One World for All de­vel­op­ment competition for schools, which is organised by En­gage­ment Global – Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen, a body established by the BMZ. School­children from the first to the last grades of school can submit projects on any aspect of de­vel­op­ment.

Education programmes offered by En­gage­ment Global

En­gage­ment Global now offers a one-stop shop for everybody who would like to become involved in de­vel­op­ment education work in Germany. It brings together a large number of BMZ-assisted education programmes that address children, young people and adults.

Through the ENSA school exchange programme, for instance, the BMZ pro­motes school twinning schemes with coun­tries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and South-Eastern Europe. Edu­ca­tion projects bring together young people from Germany and tran­si­tion states and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries; they then work to­gether on de­vel­op­ment issues. After the en­counter trips they pass on their ex­pe­rien­ces, thus acting as multipliers of global learning in their schools and beyond the school gates.

The chat room Chat der Welten gives schools the op­por­tu­nity to engage in vir­tual en­coun­ters with their part­ners in the de­vel­op­ing world. The Edu­ca­tion meets De­vel­op­ment Programme puts schools in touch with former de­vel­op­ment advisors, who go to the schools and report first hand on their missions. The Ge­sell­schaft der Europäischen Akademien can put schools in touch with other de­vel­op­ment experts for all sorts of special events.

For more information on the education programmes offered by En­gage­ment Global (in German only) click here

Extensive teaching materials

A wide range of useful materials is available to help schools make global de­vel­op­ment a subject that can capture the interest and imagination of pupils. The BMZ has set up the Global Learning internet platform to facilitate access to all the materials on offer and to network the many actors involved.

For primary schools in particular, the One World in the School project provides materials and teaching strategies. For the upper secondary level, the BMZ offers a student workbook The World in Transition. Interactive media specially suited for classroom teaching are also available from BMZ, including DVDs with films and information on a wide range of topics.

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