“President Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender travel around Germany for the week of vocational training”. This is the title of the press release of 28 March 2018 from the website of the President. The background is the realization that the appreciation of one of our export hits does not take place properly. The form of education that is so highly recognized abroad is not sufficiently promoted, respected and recognized in one’s own country. Even in the land of dual vocational education, academic education has obviously been and will be more promoted and valued.
In recent years, I have done some tours in vocational schools in Germany for my Chinese friends and colleagues. Most of the feedback from these people was very reluctant, but after many requests I could hear that people are surprised that the equipment of the facilities does not correspond to what they are used to have in place in China. I know, equipment is not everything, quite the contrary, it is the least important. But it is also an outward sign of what those responsible people are investing in and how they value this form of education.
One can only hope that the present promotion tour of the Federal President and his wife will not just be a show event but will be followed by tangible actions. Germany needs to be the benchmark in vocational education and has to make this clear worldwide. Therefore is still some need for action.