The responsibility for the education system in Germany lies primarily with the states, while the federal government plays a minor role.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe.
German Education System (Super Simplified) by Daniel Leiker
Optional Kindergarten education is provided for all children between one and six years old, after which school attendance is compulsory.
Kindergarten is a preschool educational approach traditionally based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school.
The German higher education system by Study in Germany
The system varies throughout Germany because each state decides its own educational policies.
Most children, however, first attend Grundschule from the age of six to eleven.
German secondary education includes five types of school.
Secondary education normally takes place in secondary schools, taking place after primary education and may be followed by higher education or vocational training.
The Gymnasium is designed to prepare pupils for higher education and finishes with the final examination Abitur, after grade 12 or 13.
Abitur is a qualification granted by university-preparatory schools in Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia.
The Realschule has a broader range of emphasis for intermediate pupils and finishes with the final examination Mittlere Reife, after grade 10; the Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education and finishes with the final examination Hauptschulabschluss, after grade 9 and the Realschulabschluss after grade 10.
A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after four years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education.
The Mittlere Reife is a school leaving certificate in Germany that is usually awarded after ten years of schooling.
There are two types of grade 10: one is the higher level called type 10b and the lower level is called type 10a; only the higher-level type 10b can lead to the Realschule and this finishes with the final examination Mittlere Reife after grade 10b.
This new path of achieving the Realschulabschluss at a vocationally oriented secondary school was changed by the statutory school regulations in 1981 – with a one-year qualifying period.
During the one-year qualifying period of the change to the new regulations, pupils could continue with class 10 to fulfil the statutory period of education.
After 1982, the new path was compulsory, as explained above.
Other than this, there is the Gesamtschule, which combines the Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium.
A comprehensive school is a secondary school that is a state school and does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of selection criteria.
There are also Förder- or Sonderschulen.
One in 21 pupils attends a Förderschule.
Nevertheless, the Förder- or Sonderschulen can also lead, in special circumstances, to a Hauptschulabschluss of both type 10a or type 10b, the latter of which is the Realschulabschluss.
Most German children only attend school in the morning.
There are usually no provisions for serving lunch.
The amount of extracurricular activity is determined individually by each school and varies greatly.
Many of Germany's hundred or so institutions of higher learning charge little or no tuition by international comparison.
Students usually must prove through examinations that they are qualified.