FAQ – Schools: Partners for the Future

How many partner schools are there?

Around 1,700 schools from all over the world are part of the network of partner schools. Among them are the more than 140 German schools abroad and over 1,000 national schools which currently offer the German Language Diploma. These schools are supported by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA). More than 550 schools are supported by the Goethe-Institut.
November 2013

In which countries do we find PASCH schools?

The PASCH-Network extends over the entire world, with its primary focus on regions with traditional connections to the German language (CIS countries, Central and Eastern Europe, the USA, Latin America) or where demand for German language options has increased sharply (Asia, the Persian Gulf region, Near and Middle East).

What does the initiative aim to achieve?

The network of German schools abroad and schools which offer the German Language Diploma is being strengthened and expanded. In addition, the working relationship between schools is being enhanced to ensure that German continues to be firmly established as a foreign language in national education systems. The initiative wants to encourage young people to take an interest in and be enthused by modern Germany and its society. It aims to build up active and long-term links to Germany and encourage the schools, their teaching staff and pupils to engage in an open exchange of ideas and work together. The PASCH schools abroad therefore also want to pave the way towards creating an international learning community.

Why do we need an international learning community?

It is about fostering an interest in and understanding of one another. Openness towards the diversity of different cultures and tolerance of their respective independence do not have to be mutually exclusive. To gain a better appreciation of this, we require more than ever before places for understanding, for shared learning and joint creativity. The sooner we regard ourselves as an international learning community, the better able we will be to solve the problems of the future that are common to all of us.

Why are various supporting agencies involved in the initiative?

The initiative provides students at the PASCH schools with attractive education prospects, and it offers Germany the opportunity to encourage young people to take an interest in and be enthused by modern Germany and its society. To ensure that this educational pathway can have the broadest possible base, the supporting agencies are contributing their various core areas of expertise – from implementing and strengthening the teaching of German as a foreign language and guiding students to German educational qualifications through to scholarships to study in Germany. There will also be an expansion in the number of cooperation arrangements and networks between schools abroad and German universities which are very keen to attract students with a solid educational background.

Can schools in Germany become partners too?

All members of the PASCH network are schools outside Germany. At the same time, however, we want pupils in Germany to form closer ties with pupils abroad who are interested in Germany and in learning German. That is why the organizers of the PASCH initiative offer member schools a wide variety of options to form networks not only with one another but also with Germany. Examples of such programmes include the school partnership and internship programmes of the Educational Exchange Service as well as the Goethe-Institut’s international courses for young people, which young Germans also take part in.

Why is it worth learning German?

In global terms, German is one of the world's ten most important languages on a scale of values incorporating approx. five thousand languages which exist. The "value" of a language is measured here using factors such as demography (number of native speakers), economy (flows of trade and investment, but also for example the number of speakers with a second foreign language), culture (here in particular the image of a language) and others too. In terms of language usage on the Internet, German is in fourth place (after English, Chinese and Spanish). And ultimately, with approx. 100 million speakers, German is the most spoken native language in Europe and (after English) the most spoken foreign language in the EU. In addition, a command of the German language gives you the key to an attractive linguistic territory with a modern economy, technology and culture and a diverse society.

How do you become a member of the PASCH network?

The participating schools are selected according to specific criteria by the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA)and the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the locals embassies. Schools cannot apply directly.

What are the benefits for the school if it is a partner?

PASCH schools receive assistance in expanding German as a subject taught at school or in establishing it in the first place. They may receive modern, multimedia learning and cultural studies materials and technical equipment if necessary. The Central Office for the Overseas School System (ZfA), Goethe-Institut and Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) will help the school to maintain the high standard of (German) teaching required with further education for teachers, measures for school development, school partnerships and programmes allowing teachers to sit in on lessons and observe. The member schools can also call on the expertise of expert advisors and other experts in teaching who will provide an optimum level of support to the students and German teachers in the relevant country at the actual school itself.

What are the benefits for students?

If their school is a member of the PASCH network, they will have the opportunity, through the network, to establish various international contacts with students from other partner schools at an early stage.

Particularly dedicated students will receive additional support and encouragement: by receiving invitations to attend summer courses for young people in Germany, by participating in an international German Olympiad and similar competitions or by receiving attractive rewards. The opportunity to learn all about the German language and the cultural region of Germany may provide students at an advanced level with the prospect of studying in Germany – maybe even with a full scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – and a subsequent career built on this foundation.

What qualifications can be obtained at the PASCH schools?

The qualifications that can be obtained at the PASCH schools depend on the local circumstances. They range from the German “Abitur” at major schools which offer German teaching to the German Language Diploma of the Conference of State Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, or other school-leaving qualifications at schools which offer a high level of German teaching. In some cases, these qualifications will also entitle the student to study in Germany.

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