A high standard of education and a high standard for socialist personal conduct decidedly influence the pace of social progress. At the same time, education and culture are becoming the responsibility of the entire nation to an even greater extent than before.
To achieve these goals it is necessary to create a uniform socialist education system. Such a system aids in the growth and development of well-rounded people, meaning people who are informed about socialism, who are highly qualified, healthy, mentally and physically productive, and cultured, people who are able and willing to fulfill the historic tasks of our times.
In this ongoing, far-reaching revolution in the history of the humanist struggle for the education of the entirety of the people, the German Democratic Republic can rely on the fact that it has already created a capable and proven system of education.
The antifascist-democratic reform of schools and institutions of higher learning liberated the education system from the disastrous influences of German imperialism, militarism, nationalism, and fascism. The property owners’ monopoly on access to education was broken. As demanded by the revolutionary German workers’ movement – and also, earlier on, by the democratic educators of the bourgeoisie – the educational and pedagogical principles of secularity, uniformity, state controlled education, scientifically based education, and equal opportunity education have been fulfilled, and all that is anti-humanist has disappeared from classrooms and lecture halls. An organically organized, uniform school system with eight years of elementary schooling emerged. One-room schoolhouses in villages were gradually eliminated. A high level of general education for all children in the population was increasingly assured in all types of schools. The young generation was raised in the spirit of peace, friendship among nations, and humanism.
Universities and colleges are, for the first time in German history, open to the children of workers and farmers. Our universities, colleges, and technical colleges have truly become educational institutions of the people, because the German Democratic Republic not only proclaims the right to education but has also created the material prerequisites to realize this right for all social strata.
The socialist build-up also placed higher demands on the education system. The socialist school emerged; it distinguished itself through its continual elevation of the level of education in all subjects and at all levels, through its close connection with life, through the combination of instruction and productive work, through the introduction of polytechnic instruction, and through the extension of general schooling to ten years.
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