"Innovation" will probably be the word of the year 2004. The only question that remains is in which branches these will take place in germany, and whether this will finally bring education the "megatopic" will

The federal ministry of education and research (bmbf) has proclaimed 2004 the year of technology. This year, the ministry officially presents the "spab to discover a complex and fascinating world of innovation and science" to the fore. The aim of this program is to restore germany’s innovative strength and to bring it at least close to the export success of its products.

While the country is rushing from one export record to the next, the structural deficiencies in the education and economic system are the real background to the paradox of an information society "innovationless export world champion". And since structural deficiencies are long-distance runners, the question remains how we became what we are supposed to be: a nation of car drivers and future high-tech civil servants, negatively praised annually by the oecd for our education policy, soon to be only broadband consumers.

Information society master plan

As chancellor gerhard schroder once again made clear in his new year’s address, other countries are now outstripping germany not only in those areas where there was previously a "leading position" had taken. It also applies to the "reputation as an educational nation" to defend. By demanding innovation and education, and the broad use of technology, germany’s high-tech weaknesses should be eliminated, schroder continued. This is the obvious follow-up debate to the 2006 information society master plan, which was approved by the german cabinet in berlin at the end of 2003. This in turn is followed by the youngest paper in the innovation-rich jungle of theses directly from weimar. Will education soon be the "mega topic"?

The "information society master plan 2006" in any case is both resume and outlook. The research findings supported by the federal government so far are "driver of economic development and basis for innovation" in industries such as z.B. Automotive and engineering. A rough step toward the information society will be half of german households having a broadband internet connection by 2010, the paper continues. And even more ambitious: by 2005, 75% of people over the age of 14, regardless of origin or gender, should be able to use the internet. Last but not least, with "eprocurement" and "egovernment" that government administration will also be able to provide platforms for the information society in the future.

Imbalances at universities and in the private sector

The updated oecd study education at a glance, published at the end of 2003, also indirectly addresses germany’s innovative strength in the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors. In addition to the classic problems (class sizes, old teaching staffs), the current situation of universities in germany was again critically assessed. Not that germany is not on the right track to bring its student ratio up to international standards. However, according to the experts, the final figures still leave much to be desired.

In turn, some ministries of education countered that the high rate of vocational qualifications and the large area of dual vocational training should not be ignored when assessing the german education system. This is countered by the oecd’s accusation that germany, in contrast to other industrialized countries, has not been able to raise the educational level of its working population since the early 1980s. However, as many other expert reports have shown in the past, increased and better education and skills (especially through universities) are the basis for the prosperity of societies in the 21st century. Century. Conclusion of the argument: it is possible that too long a fixation on the prosperity-boosting economic structures of the postwar era, conditioned by power-political circumstances, is increasingly a drag on germany’s future viability.

The private sector is also crucial to education. Among the 150 largest technology companies, only ten are from germany, and their spending on research and development (rd) is the highest in the worlde) can keep up internationally, according to the rating agency standard and poor’s (as of 2002/2003). Three of them come from the automotive industry (daimlerchrysler, volkswagen, bmw), three from the chemical industry (basf, bayer, merck) and one each from the pharmaceutical sector (schering), the electrical industry (siemens) and the ict sectors semiconductors (infineon) and software (sap).

According to oecd education experts, the structures in the education system are accordingly. If the emphasis (including financial) is placed primarily on the industrial society and state administration of the 20th century, then the political process will be more difficult. In the 21st century, the preparation of schoolchildren for skilled positions in the service and knowledge society of the 21st century is being neglected. Neglected at the beginning of the twentieth century. Demgemab favored middle to higher professional positions to the detriment of the demand of disadvantaged and training of top forces.

The overall level of education must be raised

The federal government would like to use the future for further technical implementations. The demands of the pisa study and the results of "education at a glance 2003" are the same: germany’s weakness in education and innovation can only be remedied if the overall level of education is raised, i.E. If the structures are changed. To pursue an elite demand only unilaterally would therefore be just as nonsensical as to continue as before ("what the country needs …").

If only the technology is changed and increased, then germany’s citizens could soon only be left with the consumer rush on the information superhighway. And even the german institute for standardization, the german association for welding and allied processes, the german association of the automotive industry and the german association of foundry experts cannot want this, since they are all partners of the bmbf for the initiative "year of technology", on their official flyer also the "fabulous diversity" of everyday technology:

Land-going vehicles are on their way through space to explore mars. Plastic film has learned to glow and puts conventional light bulbs in the shade. Miniature cameras the size of a tablet travel through the human digestive system and send images to the doctor.

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