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Socialist Education (February 25, 1965)

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The Volkskammer of the German Democratic Republic hereby resolves:

Part One
Principles and goals of the uniform socialist education system and factors in social education

Paragraph 1
(1) The goal of the uniform socialist education system is a high standard of education for the entire nation, the formation and education of well-rounded and harmoniously developed socialist individuals who consciously shape society, alter nature, and lead happy, fulfilled, and dignified lives.
(2) The socialist education system contributes significantly to enabling the citizens to shape socialist society, master the technological revolution, and participate in the development of socialist democracy. It imparts to the people a modern general education and highly specialized training, and, at the same time, develops character traits within them that are consistent with the principles of socialist morality. The socialist education system enables them to be good citizens and to perform valuable work, to continue to learn, to be active in society, to contribute to plans and assume responsibility, to lead healthy lives, to use their spare time wisely, to play sports, and to nurture the arts.
(3) This goal unites the socialist state and all societal forces in a common formative and educational effort.

Paragraph 2
(1) With the uniform socialist education system, the socialist state ensures that all citizens of the German Democratic Republic have the same right to education.
(2) The basic elements of the uniform socialist education system are:
– the institutions for preschool education
– the ten-year, general polytechnic secondary schools
– the institutions for vocational training
– the college preparatory institutions
– the engineering and technical colleges
– the universities and colleges
– the institutions for adult and continuing education for workers
The special education facilities admit children with physical or mental disabilities.
(3) The socialist education system’s emphasis on uniformity in goals and structure allows for differentiated education at the later stages, as determined by the demands of society and the capabilities of the individual.
(4) The socialist education system is structured so that every citizen can advance to the next institution of learning, up to the very highest institutions, universities and colleges. The best and most capable shall be selected for the institutions of higher learning. The social structure of the population of the German Democratic Republic shall be taken into consideration in the selection process.

[ . . . ]

Source: Gesetz über das einheitliche sozialistische Bildungssystem (25. Februar 1965) [Uniform Socialist Education System Act (February 25, 1965)]; reprinted in Siegfried Baske, Bildungspolitik in der DDR. Dokumente [Educational Policy in the GDR. Documents]. Wiesbaden, 1979, pp. 97-130.

Translation: Allison Brown

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