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Recommendations for Merging the Two Education Systems (September 26, 1990)

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The Education Commission agreed that the basic conditions and the transitional periods that will apply for the German school system in the future should be coordinated by the federal states in the Conference of Ministers.

In the area of vocational training, the Education Commission supported the fastest possible introduction of the Regulation Framework for Vocational Training in the Federal Republic (Vocational Training Act, Crafts and Trade Code, Vocational School Act, training regulations and core curricula) and explained which measures were necessary to achieve this. It was introduced on September 1, 1990, and created the basis for the reform of vocational training. With the assistance of the federal government and the federal states, comprehensive qualification measures were instituted for vocational training personnel (trainers, vocational school teachers, continuing education instructors). The federal government guaranteed the supply of informational materials, training codes, and core curricula. Furthermore, support was offered for measures to offer positions to young people who had either not received training positions in the fall of 1990 or whose apprenticeship contracts had been canceled. The results were reflected in the decision of the Council of Ministers of August 22, 1990. The federal government passed a provisional program on September 25, 1990, according to which some measures of the Council of Ministers were to be continued.

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The federal government sees an urgent need for additional consultation and for support leading to the consolidation of the governments of the new federal states and to complete adaptation to the dual education system, which had never existed previously [in the GDR] in as pronounced a form as in the Federal Republic.

In the area of universities and research, the Education Commission reached agreement on creating a unified science and research landscape in united Germany by entrusting the Science and Humanities Council [Wissenschaftsrat] with a thorough assessment of the science and research landscape in the GDR, including all university and non-university educational and research facilities. This assessment will be the basis of the Science and Humanities Council’s assessment of facilities and for the Council’s recommendations on the structure of the science and research landscape in the GDR, the integration of facilities and institutions within this structure, as well as the expansion of the facilities.

Higher education institutions in the new federal states will continue to offer admission within the limits of their existing capacity, also to applicants from the Federal Republic. The assessment of capacity should no longer depend on parameters such as dormitory and cafeteria space.

Furthermore, there was agreement on expanding the scope of the University Construction Act [HBFG] to the territory of the new federal states and on expanding the competencies of institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany (such as the Science and Humanities Council, the German Research Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, Higher Education Information Systems, foundations for the gifted, etc). In order to get a reliable overview of the social situation of students at higher education institutions in the new federal states, this should be incorporated into the thirteenth social survey, if possible.

Given the condition of the buildings and the equipment of universities in the new federal states (which sometimes need extensive improvement) the Education Commission views the speedy continuation of work in the existing bodies as urgent. Curricula in a number of important subject areas need to be restructured and major areas need further development.

According to the Education Commission, continuing education makes an essential contribution to promoting vocational qualifications and furthering the understanding of democracy. In view of the great need among citizens of the new federal states, the Commission felt that it was necessary to guarantee sufficient options for continuing education. Therefore, it has been particularly concerned with integrating successful preexisting facilities into the new structures, and in converting and founding other institutions for continuing education.

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