Education in Germany

Typical problems in Germany

In Germany many children and teenagers are brought up by only one parent. There are about 2,6 million single parents. This shows its effect in the behavior or the pupils. 35% of nursery children have psychological disturbances. Teachers are also complaining about aggressive and hyperactive children and teenagers.

The unemployment rate in Germany is very high. In 1994 there were only 3,7 million unemployed people. The unemployment number went to 4,82 million 1998, then the unemployment fell to 3,9 million. But it did not go on like that for long. In june 2003, there were 4,2 million people looking for looking for work again. It became worse and worse. And today, there are about 5 million unemployed people. One of the biggest problems comes out of the other two: A lot of families have big problems with their children. Teenagers are often missing the hold and harmony of an intact family. Many don`t have a perspective any more. Apprenticeships are rare and unemployment is high.

What children wish for their future

Most children wish to have good jobs, great cars and later they hope to live a happy life. They also want to live in big cities and would like to earn a lot of money. Every child needs a good friend to have fun with and to spend his/her free time.

In an opinion poll from 1998 over a period of three years more than 1800 selected children from 9 to 14 years from the Rhein area have been asked about their fears and hopes. Over 24 per cent of all children worry about their future work place. 19 per cent of the children are afraid of accidents and death. 38 per cent of the children in the seventh grade said that they are afraid of beeing unemployed in the future.

                                                                                                       (Sandra & Patrick)

What children were afraid of in 2004

This is what german children are afraid of:

       Will I get a job?   24%

       I`m afraid of accidents and death.   19%

      I`m afraid of being unemployed.   38%

      Other:      19%

The patchwork family

A patchwork family is a familiy with one parent who starts a relationship with a new partner. Previously you called the new partner stepmother or stepfather. Today we have many different kinds of those patchwork families. Almost each seventh family in Germany is a patchwork family today. If a parent gets married after divorce again, his child may get a new surname as well.

Divorces in Germany

Couples often get divorced because of many problems or tension in the relationship. Year after year 10.000 children grow up without two parents. Many children can`t decide wether they should live together with their mom or their dad and many think they are responsible for the divorce of their parents. Many parents only stay together because of their children but this is often even worse then the divorse.

A divorse is possible after a year of separation or at the latest after three years - that is the German law. Reasons for a divorse can be bodily harm, serious psychological damage, alcoholism, arguments, neglect of housework and others. The legal proceedings for the divorse take place in front of the county court. 

                                                                                                                             (Elena)

Children and poverty

In Germany the number of poor families has increased since 1990. Today 6,3% of all german families are poor. That means they haven`t got mor than 500 € a month to cover the main costs of living. Affected by poverty are mainly the families with a lot of children. More than 500.000 children live in hostels for homeless.

Politicians in the german parliament (the "Bundestag") complain, that children in Germany suffer from increasing poverty. Poverty is no longer a problem of fringe groups, but has moved to the middle of society. Many families have shifted into the group of those who live off social security.

Homeless children

Not bothered to go home

In Germany there are ten- to fifteenthousend children under 18 years, who live in the streets. Those are not schildren who run away for a short time, but children whio run away for at least two weeks. The youngest are 8 years old, the most of them are 13 and older. the most of themare german children. Many come from rural areas and try to hide away anonymous in the big cities.

They run away from maltreatment, abuse and neglect and often get money by begging, prostitution and theft. They dream of a normal life and secureness. Bad marks in school are not the reason for their life on the street. Often street children have experiences with social workers before they start their life on the street. Financial needs only play a minor role. This is the main difference to street children in South America, who in the most cases are livingin an environment of poverty and crime.