Because of the economic crisis as a result of the corona pandemic, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warns of an increase in unemployment in Germany among people with low educational attainment.
"Unemployment could rise as the economy struggles to cope with the decline in economic activity triggered by the lockdown," said the
Education at a Glance 2020
People with a low level of education are most at risk, "as they are less likely to benefit from teleworking".
Last year, twelve percent of young adults with an educational level below upper secondary level in Germany were unemployed.
In contrast, the proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds with a university or technical college degree was only three percent.
"Germany may seem more resilient to an economic downturn than most countries," said the organization.
After the financial crisis in 2008, unemployment among young adults rose significantly less than the OECD average.
"The effects of the current crisis could be different, however, since some sectors of the German economy are more affected than others," said the OECD at the same time.
Significant consequences of the long school closings
According to the report, long school closings in particular were necessary overall, but their costs "for individuals and society are very high".
On the other hand, the OECD sees advantages in comparatively high spending on education and strong vocational training in Germany.
"Up until the end of June, schools in Germany were effectively closed for 17 weeks in one form or another," the organization said - the average for the OECD countries was 14 weeks.
Schools are therefore all the more dependent on the use of digital devices for successful learning outcomes.
But "this can be more difficult in Germany", explained the OECD and also referred to the need to catch up with digital learning platforms.
Another danger for schools: "As in many other OECD countries, a large proportion of teaching staff in Germany will reach retirement age in the next ten years," said the organization.
In 2018, 41 percent of primary and secondary school teachers in Germany were over 50 years old, only seven percent were under 30.
OECD sees dual training as a key role
The high proportion of vocational training and, in particular, dual courses of study is "one of the strengths of the German education system" and will play "a key role in the recovery phase" after the pandemic, the OECD continued.
In the meantime, in-company training and further education "suffered twice as much, since distance rules on the one hand and company closures on the other hand make it impossible to combine theory and practice in many training courses".
But "overall, the coordination between education and the labor market works well and the transition to working life works," said OECD Director of Education Andreas Schleicher when presenting the study.
According to the report, an average of 46 percent of all upper-grade students in Germany opt for a vocational path, 77 percent of them via dual training.
The career prospects are better than in any other comparable country: the employment rate for medium-level qualifications is 88 percent and thus on par with university degrees.
KMK President calls for more appreciation for teachers
According to the information, spending on education is higher in Germany than in most other member states.
Accordingly, in 2017 they were around 13,500 dollars (currently the equivalent of around 11,400 euros), the OECD average was around 11,200 dollars.
At the same time, however, "public spending on education from primary to tertiary level as a share of government spending in Germany was nine percent lower than the OECD average (eleven percent)," explained the study authors.
Overall, Germany gets good marks for its education system in international comparison.
The system of German vocational training ensures a high level of employability and will play a key role in the recovery phase after the corona crisis, it is said.
Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) spoke of a good report "and underlined the importance of skilled worker training for economic success in Germany. The Rhineland-Palatinate Education Minister and President of the Conference of Ministers of Education, Stefanie Hubig (SPD), said:" Germany has a good education system, that is well positioned ".
She named demographic developments, changes in the world of work and digitization as challenges.
She called for more appreciation for teachers.
The value of face-to-face teaching has shown itself in the corona pandemic.
Digitization cannot replace schools.