The role of the school system is to equip young people with the skills necessary for their personal and career development. Yet in Germany schools only partially succeed in providing their pupils with an adequate basic education.
Too many school-leavers – especially those with a migrant background – leave school without the qualifications necessary for vocational training. The problems continue after leaving school: poor scholars find it hard to obtain a training place and must first take courses designed to help them catch up. Despite such support, many are later dependent on welfare benefits. The state could save this money by giving young people more coaching earlier, while they are still at school. The current school system, which offers lessons only in the mornings, cannot achieve this and needs to be replaced by universal all-day schooling. Schools should have to orientate themselves both in their teaching methods and their curriculum on minimum standards, which themselves need to be regularly reassessed. However, this approach will only be able to develop its full effect when schools are given more independence and responsibility for the educational success of their pupils.