School Präsident der German School Campus, Frau Ursula Schoeneich fliegt nach New York um an der 40 Jahrfeier der GLSC (German Language School Conference) teilzunehmen. Es trafen sich 162 Lehrer, Schüler, Schulleiter, Schulvorstände, Referenten, Sponsoren und Gäste der deutschen Sprachschulen zur 38. GLSC Bildung Konferenz. Vertreten waren zahlreiche Teilnehmer aus den US-Staaten, aus Toronto, Bremen und Berlin.
Wie in jedem Jahr begann die Konferenz schon in den frühen Morgenstunden im Deutschen Haus an der UN Plaza. Bei Kaffee und Gebäck konnten die ersten Buchauslagen der Sponsoren besichtigt werden.
Von der Kulturabteilung des Deutschen Generalkonsulats New York begrüßte Anna Garrido die Anwesenden und Präsidentin der GLSC Frau Dr. Renate Ludanyi hielt eine kurze Ansprache und ehrte Mitglieder.
Zur Überraschung der Schüler und des Publikums wurden ihnen Geschenke von einem internationalen Jugendstar überreicht. Die 15-jährige Malina Weissman ist deutsch-amerikanisches Fotomodell und mittlerweile auch eine bekannte Schauspielerin. Sie war früher eine Schülerin der Deutschen Sprachschule New York.
Ein breitgefächertes Workshop Angebot für den Unterricht von Schülern unterschiedlichen Alters über MINT, Curriculum Gestaltung, prüfungsrelevante Fragen, ein Studium von Sprachschülern in Deutschlandhielt sowie Präsentationen im administrativen Bereich, sorgten für einen abwechslungsreichen Workshop Tag.
Am Nachmittag erreichte die Konferenz ihren Höhepunkt mit dem Besuch von Ulla Schmidt, Mitglied des Bundestages und des Unterausschusses für Auswärtige Kultur- und Bildungspolitik in Berlin. Nach ihren Ausführungen zur Rolle der Sprachschulen in den USA stellte sie sich den Fragen der Teilnehmer, die eine Bandbreite von Themen betrafen wie die Bedeutung des Deutschen Sprachdiploms in den USA, die Finanzierung der Sprachschulen und die Berücksichtigung der Vorschul- und Kindergartenkinder bei der Schulentwicklung. Frau Schmidt ermutigte die Sprachschulen in ihrer Arbeit und wünschte der GLSC viele weitere erfolgreiche Jahre.
Im Anschluss an das Konferenzprogramm lud das Deutsche Generalkonsulat New York alle Teilnehmer und Gäste zu einem Empfang ein.
The value contributions of the German schools abroad
Eight social value contributions make clear what the German schools abroad do. These value contributions together make up the public value of the schools.
Education “Made in Germany”
High-quality education is one of the core values of German schools abroad. Schools around the world stand for sound knowledge transfer and excellent pedagogical support. Her trademark is the internationally recognized German school qualifications, such as the Abitur. The federal and state governments work together to ensure uniform quality standards; experienced teaching and management staff from Germany ensure their compliance. This enables education “Made in Germany” at a consistently high level.
Encounter of cultures and international understanding
German schools abroad strengthen intercultural exchange. The majority of schools are “encounter schools”. There children and young people from different countries and cultures learn together. Classes are usually multilingual. The schools teach and live cosmopolitanism and thus make an important contribution to international understanding. They raise awareness of study and work opportunities around the world. At the same time they create a close bond with Germany, where many foreign students study after graduation and enter the profession.
Partner of the economy
Many German companies are world leaders in their industries. The German Schools Abroad are an important part of this success story. Whether in industrialized or emerging countries: company employees posted abroad can count on their German children being educated in Germany. The graduates of the schools also have access to highly qualified specialists familiar with the German language and culture. Thus, the German schools abroad can help to solve the shortage of skilled workers in Germany.
Reliable charitable status
The German schools abroad are not profit-oriented schools. As a rule, they are carried by non-profit school associations or foundations. The public-private partnership provides schools with a high degree of economic autonomy, but can charge lower school fees than other international schools. They also offer various scholarship programs. Thus, the German schools abroad are an educational elite that is open to gifted students from all social classes.
Business card for Germany
The German schools abroad teach what Germany stands for. In Germany, they make it possible to experience what Germany is all about: strong education and strong values, such as democracy, equal opportunity and performance orientation. The German schools abroad traditionally support Germany’s foreign cultural and educational policy. In this way, they contribute to sustainable success in competition with other nations (“nation branding”).
Impulse generator and innovator
The German Schools Abroad offer great potential for initiating innovation in the education system – in Germany as well as in the respective home country. Teachers can contribute their experience abroad after returning to Germany, for example when teaching pupils from different cultures. Also in terms of full-day care, multilingualism and integration, the foreign schools can provide valuable impulses.
Reference point for the German community abroad
For Germans living abroad, the German schools abroad are often not only the first address for the education of their children. The schools also provide a place of community to cultivate their own cultural roots. They enable Germans abroad to maintain a bond with Germany and to maintain a German identity. The schools also create networks that ensure rapid access.
German educational ideals
The German Schools Abroad teach more than school knowledge. They make an important contribution worldwide to promote the German language and culture. Children of Germans living abroad speak their language, children from the home country learn it and use it in everyday life. The German schools abroad teach values and knowledge. They promote a sympathetic Germany with convincing educational ideals.
After 37 years and 3 months in the German Foreign Service, Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer officially retired on June 30. In a small ceremony at the Consulate, that included colleagues and Mrs. Fischer, Deputy Consul General Stefan Biedermann presented Dr. Fischer with his last official document – a Certificate of Retirement. In the document signed by German President Joachim Gauck and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, he was acknowledged and thanked for his long years of service.
Deputy Consul General Biedermann also lauded Dr. Fischer, and signaled out two things he found most impressive and hoped to emulate: Dr. Fischer’s natural talent as a communicator and speaker, both factual and entertaining at the same time, and most importantly, his long partnership with his wife, Jutta, who has been at his side to support him every step of the way during his diplomatic career and 40 years of marriage. The Fischers, Biedermann said, exemplified the perfect team spirit necessary to navigate a successful life in the foreign service .
Dr. Fischer in his farewell remarks to the colleagues he would be leaving behind, stressed the importance of their mission to continue fostering and deepening the ties and friendship between Germany and the United States. Lastly, he touched upon a matter very close to his heart and one he felt deeply committed to during his three years as Consul General. He urged his colleagues to support and help facilitate that Germany’s successful model of dual education or Skills Initiative be implemented in California.
(Photos copyright Consulate General Los Angeles)
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