Indicator history

Close Window

Are there positive initiatives to improve/support poor educational provision for migrant and minority groups?

Key Area:
Discrimination, Equality
24/01/2013 - 12:55
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

In October 2008, acting within the framework of their Qualification Initiative for Germany, the Federal Government announced that the promotion measures for adolescents should be enhanced. The goal is to offer young persons, especially those with a migration background, the possibility to graduate from lower secondary school [1, p. 10].
The Federal Government plans to increase its budget for education and science by 12 billion euros until 2013. The Federal Ministry for Education and Science (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) will develop new measures addressing the special needs of young people with a migration background and will continue to implement positive measures [4].

A working group on “Integration through education” (Integration durch Bildung) has been established in 2011 aiming to improve the education for young migrants and to enhance parental involvement. The group consists of representatives of the Federal Government and the Länder (Bund-Länder-Arbeitsgruppen) (German Federal Government 2011).

In the Federal States North-Rhine Westphalia and Hesse, practical barriers for undocumented migrants to enrol their children at school have been removed since March 2008 and December 2009. Families are not in the duty to provide official registration documents when they intend to enrol their children at school. Further, schools are not obliged to inform the foreigners´ department about the undocumented status of the children. In Berlin, the State Senate for Education, Sciences and Research issued an official information statement to all public schools in Berlin in November 2009 to underline the right of children with undocumented status to attend school [6, p. 20]. Since July 2011, these provisions have been applied at the national level. The German Bundestag passed a bill which suspends the obligation of public authorities in the field of education to inform the foreigners´ authorities in case they become aware of an irregular status of migrants [3].

The promotion of German language skills is a key issue in education policies. In all Federal States a language proficiency assessment is common followed by promotion of the children prior to their enrolment. Nevertheless, no data is available that could give a summary of children with migration background who have special educational needs. Municipalities aim to promote language skills, especially in the early childhood education. Therefore, the programme “Mothers learn German” (Mütter lernen Deutsch) was implemented to improve the language skills of the parents and thus increase the incentive for children to speak German. Such measures are very important, especially in regard to the fact, that 15.7 per cent of the children in kindergartens do not speak German in the first place in their parents´ home. [6, pp. 83-85].

On the local level, the project „Bildungslotse Nürnberg“ (Education guide Nuremberg) was honoured for its role as a mediator between schools, parents and children in 2012. Volunteers with a migration background support parents and their children of the same background to understand the school system and to find their way through it. Thus it offers practical help for problems concerning language, organisation, and uncertainties [7].

“Mehr Migranten werden Lehrer” (More migrants as teachers) is a project to encourage students of a migration background for a teacher training. During a four-day programme in several German towns they are provided with information on teacher’s education and their future chances as a teacher. They can directly ask teachers, head of schools, and educationalists on their work experience. Furthermore the potential teachers get an overview of the different subjects and an individual mentoring [8].



  1. German Federal Government (2008), Aufstieg durch Bildung – Die Qualifizierungsinitiative für Deutschland, 22.10.2008,, Accessed on 13.02.12012.
  2. German Federal Government (2011), Vorfahrt für bessere Bildungschancen von jungen Migranten / Konstituierende Sitzung der Bund-Länder-Arbeitsgruppe „Integration durch Bildung“, 22.02.2011,, Accessed on 20.02.2012.
  3. German Federal Press Office (Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung) (2011), Schul- und Kindergartenbesuch für Kinder von Zuwanderern ohne Aufenthaltsstatus möglich, Press Release 254, 11.07.2011,, Accessed on 20.02.2012.
  4. Federal Ministry for Education and Science (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) (2012), Integration durch Bildung,,Accessed on 13.02.2012.
  5. Federal Office for Migration, Refugees and Integration (Bundesamt für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration) (2010), 8. Bericht der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration über die Lage der Ausländerinnen und Ausländer in Deutschland, June 2010,, Accessed on 9 February 2012.
  6. Peucker, Mario (2010), Racism and Ethnic Discrimination in Germany Update Report 2010,, Accessed on 09.02.2012.
  7. Bildungslotse Nürnberg:, Accessed on 11.01.2013.
  8. Mehr Migranten werden Lehrer:, Accessed on 15.01.2013.

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Asylum seekers, National minorities
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Education, Integration - social cohesion
External Url