Germany free education system
According to the results of the PISA reports, in no other OECD country is the socio-economic background of students as crucial to their success at school as in Germany.
By Lidia Conde, in Stuttgart | The beginning of the first grade at school in September is celebrated with a party where those attending receive a sealed package full of goodies and small gifts. It is a cardboard-cone that can be made at home, with the child's name and decorated accordingly. After the celebration, the children attend their first hour in class and then, they can open their presents. It is a lovely tradition that marks the passage from the preschool experience to formal school life. At that moment, the kids swiftly realise that the care-free fun and games of their kindergarten time is over. They soon enough learn that one doesn't go to school to kill time, and that marks and high performance is about all that counts.
What strikes foreign families residing in Germany is the lack of correlation between a free education system –which at first glance guarantees equal opportunities for everyone in this country– and PISA reports’ results: in no other OECD country is the students' socio-economic background as decisive in their educational success as it is in Germany. How can this contradiction be explained? There are two reasons.