At the end of the Second World War, the Germans created an economic miracle on the ruins and created an unrivalled “manufacturing empire”. Most people believe that the reason why “Made in Germany” is at its peak is because of its “artisan spirit” rooted in the depths of national culture. In fact, it is also due to the German vocational education system.
German vocational education, especially the “Dual System” model, provides Germany with a large number of highly sophisticated talents. At the same time, the success of the “dual-track education” has made German vocational education enjoy a high reputation all over the world and has become a classic template for improving vocational education in many countries.
The so-called “dual-track education” refers to the stage in which students receive vocational education in vocational schools, and at the same time they receive skills training in enterprises and serve as apprentices. In this way, students are proficient in relevant skills and can be employed immediately after graduation without an internship period. It sounds simple, but why are Germans proud of this?
Caught from the doll
Germany’s “dual-track education” has infiltrated pre-school education and has been earned from the dolls.
During the kindergarten, the Germans are not eager to teach children to read, arithmetic or cultivate various specialties. Instead, they should let the children feel the charm of nature, stimulate imagination and creativity, and develop good etiquette habits.
Walking into a kindergarten in Germany is like entering a beautiful garden. There are large venues in the park, such as lawns, sand pools, flower beds, and ditch, where children can play. At the same time, there are different toys in the venue, such as swings made of logs, wooden bridges, rocking horses, seesaws, etc. Waste materials that can be moved by children, such as used tires, planks, ladders, etc., can also be found there.
German children are encouraged to do manual work, such as home layout, garden layout and machine maintenance. Even though the academic pressure on children after entering primary school is increasing, the Germans pay more attention to the cultivation of students’ personality, skills and interests than the pursuit of test scores.
When a student graduates from elementary school, the teacher will give comprehensive advice based on the student’s academic performance and daily performance: if it is suitable for research, then it will recommend going to the academic middle school to continue studying; if it is good at doing it, then it will recommend to the technical secondary school to focus on practical technology. Of course, the teacher’s advice does not completely influence the final choice, the parents will make adjustments according to the child’s actual wishes.
It is precisely because of the different emphasis of the education system that the entire German society does not blindly pursue academic qualifications and degrees, and that vocational schools are not considered to be “lower people.”
On the contrary, for some Germans, vocational schools mean more secure employment than academic schools. Especially for those students who are not suitable for academic and family economics, it is the best choice. Therefore, about 60% of German students choose to enter vocational schools every year, and they become the backbone of inheritance and promotion of “Made in Germany”.
After graduating from vocational high school, German students can enter the University of Applied Technology. In the technical occupations prescribed by the German government, they choose one to study and apply for the business that recruits the occupation; after being admitted by the enterprise, they start vocational and technical studies ranging from two years to three and a half years. At this time, students only need 30% of the time to learn the necessary theoretical knowledge in the school, and the remaining 70% of the time, learn practical technology in the enterprise.
An analysis of all walks of life is the basis for the professional setting of the University of Applied Technology. This responsibility is borne by the German government. The German government regularly updates the definition of all vocational training, and develops teaching content along with the company according to the labor demand of different types of work, to ensure that the technical professional setting not only meets the needs of enterprises and markets, but also ensures the employment of graduates. .
About 60% of German students choose to enter vocational schools every year.
In simple terms, vocational education in Germany is an open system, which is composed of several subsystems such as government, school, enterprise, and market.
However, Rome was not built in one day. The development of “dual-track education” has not been separated from its continuous renewal and progress.
In the Middle Ages, the predecessor of the “dual-track education” was the “apprenticeship” of the traditional handicraft industry. At that time, the apprentices learned the skills in the workshop, and the master not only taught the actual operation, but also taught the theoretical knowledge. However, the theoretical knowledge at the time was not systematic, only as an aid to understanding the actual operation.
As the market develops and the industry increases, more and more industries are beginning to learn and imitate such “apprenticeships.” The advancement of science and technology has also made the importance of theoretical knowledge more prominent. Therefore, theoretical study has become a relatively independent teaching content, and Master must also pass the qualification assessment before he can receive and train apprentices.
With the gradual evolution of the “apprenticeship system”, in 1938, Germany enacted the “Imperial Compulsory Education Law”, which incorporated the participation of students in vocational schools into the national compulsory education category, and stipulated that vocational education was compulsory. The “dual track education” model was initially established.
In 1969, Germany established the legal status of “dual-track education” in the “Professional Education Law.” The “Professional Education Promotion Law” promulgated later further promoted the “dual-track education” as an education model with complete systems, close organization, and rigorous procedures.
Other countries do not learn
The success of Germany’s “dual-track education” has made the vocational education model combining school and enterprise widely used. Although many countries have borrowed from this model, most of them have failed because of difficulties in recruiting students, difficulties in employment, and low quality of teaching.
The fundamental point is that Germany’s “dual-track education” has a deep foundation. If you can’t build the same level of social foundation, even if the form is 1:1, it will be difficult to receive the same effect. For example, some societies have always believed that vocational and technical education is a secondary education, and it is difficult to speak with higher education such as undergraduate courses.
It is such a prejudice that most vocational colleges are unable to obtain high-quality students, which in turn leads to the failure of good vocational education and the lack of due respect. Once students’ practical ability and overall quality are not high enough, it is difficult to find a place in the increasingly fierce market competition. In this way, vocational education has entered a vicious circle.
Moreover, at the institutional and legal levels, most countries fail to form institutional and legal support as complete as Germany. Simple, formal-form agreement cooperation is not systematic and non-binding, and it is difficult to achieve long-term effective results.
At this point, the German government attaches great importance to the implementation of the education policy. The German government has put forward clear and specific requirements for the name, training objectives, professional settings, length of school system, school conditions, funding sources, teacher qualifications, teacher training, examination methods, and management systems related to vocational education.
The German government has also established a set of vocational education implementation supervision system including legislative supervision, judicial supervision, administrative supervision and social supervision to ensure the effective implementation of various requirements.
In the German government’s fiscal expenditure, education funds usually account for a relatively large proportion. The German government supports the vocational training with greater strength. All enterprises involved in vocational education have state funding subsidies. Stable funding channels are another key to the rapid development of the education model. According to the relevant provisions of German law, all enterprises need to pay a considerable amount of vocational education funds to the government, and those participating in the “dual track education” training are the beneficiaries of the fund.
On the whole, “Double-track education” aims at cultivating first-line technical talents, open-minded school in the way of school-enterprise cooperation, pays attention to practical practice, and combines academic education with professional quality training, targeted for society, The market provides quality labor.
As a manufacturing power, the indispensable foundation of Germany is the “artisan spirit.” Inheriting the spirit of craftsmanship can not be just a slogan. It not only needs to establish correct social values, but also implements policies from the perspective of system and law.