The Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf
- an attempted explanation in English -
The Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf is a College of Further Education with various departments that offers vocational training to students of age 16 and up. The about 1800 students form two large groups: the part-time and the full-time students. The staff and the students can make use of the most modern technology in the classrooms and so every student learns how to work with the computer. They all learn about business communications, administration and office organization to prepare them for the world of work. Another principle of the school is the goal to enable the students to work independently by themselves or in a team. This combination of skills and competences is what the students will later need in the world of work.
In the German educational system every apprentice is trained by his or her employer and also attends a vocational school (or College of Further Education) on one or two days a week. That way they learn on the job what is needed to work in this job and at school they learn about the theories behind the tasks they have to do at work.
At the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf there are two groups of apprentices: the first group trains for a career in business – they do different courses to gain qualifications in commerce, e.g. accounting, administration and office organization. They will later work as clerks or secretaries in various fields.
The second group of apprentices at the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf trains to be gardeners, landscape gardeners, cemetery gardeners, florists, farmers, fruit farmers or forest wardens/rangers.
There is also a third group of part-time students at the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf: adults with a completed apprenticeship and four years of experience on the job. They do a three-or four-year course (depending on their school leaving certificate) in the evenings after their regular work. Their goal is to enter positions in intermediate management.
The full time students attend the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf for one, two or three years, depending on the school leaving certificate they achieved before enrolling in the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf. [In the German educational system, primary educations takes place in comprehensive primary schools. In secondary education, there are some comprehensive schools as well, but the majority of the German students attends one of three secondary schools:
First, there are grammar schools. You leave school after 13 years with a school leaving certificate that includes university entrance qualification (~A-Levels/High School Diploma).
Second, there are secondary schools that end at the age of 16 (after 10 years of school). If the students do well at these high schools they can achieve a school leaving certificate (O-Levels with qualification) that allows them to go to grammar school to try for university qualifications. If they do not do well but pass, they leave with O-Levels and cannot go to grammar school.
Third, there are junior high schools. In general students go there until year 9 and leave with the lowest German school leaving certificate. If they do well, they can, however, stay for another year and thereby achieve the O-Levels (with or without qualifications).]
Germany has three different schools for general education until class 10 or 13. Each school leads to another school leaving certificate: Most students who graduate from junior high school go on to do an apprenticeship. Many of them become gardeners, landscape gardeners, cemetery gardeners, florists, farmers, fruit farmers or forest wardens/rangers or choose other jobs that do not require too much office work.
A lot of the students with O-Levels al so start apprenticeships, for example as office clerks or secretaries in various fields that require qualifications in administration and/or accounting. Students with A-Levels can start more demanding apprenticeships or go to university.At the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf the students get vocational training, that is to say they are taught specific knowledge needed in the field of work they chose for their life: they learn about business communication and administration.
They can also improve the level of their school leaving certificate on all levels: you can do your O-Levels (with or without qualification), your A -Levels and a third school leaving certificate: after 12 years of school (and six months of internship) you are permitted to go to college (not university).
All departments that include full-time students focus on vocational training so that the students have an easier start when they start work but also teach general subjects like German, English and Maths.
At the Berufskolleg Bonn-Duisdorf there is also a programme to help young people who have not been able to find an apprenticeship or have dropped out of an apprenticeship or a job. The goal is to reintegrate them into the world of work by improving their qualifications and maybe make their attitudes towards life a little more positive.
The school system in Germany (explanation 1)
The school system in Germany (explanation 2)