Tuesday night at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Berlin was all pomp and colour as students from German schools from around the world gathered for the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (IHK) award ceremony.
The IHK in its bid to promote and acknowledge the importance of the German schools abroad, holds an annual competition, in 2017/2018 it was no different. Under the theme: Schüler bauen weltweit Brücken, (Pupils building bridges around the world) the 140 international schools in 71 countries around the world were invited to enter their projects into the competition.
“The German schools abroad are a representation of Germany abroad and are partners of the German economy in foreign markets,” the DIHK President Eric Schweitzer said during the event in Berlin. “They ensure access to the German education system to the children of German expats abroad and therefore contribute significantly to the international mobility of their families. They also help build bridges between the cultures [German and of the host country].”
In an event attended by more than 600 guests from across industry, politics and business; the three winning schools FEDA Madrid, Goethe School Buenos Aires and “Deutsche Schule Nairobi (DNS)” (German School Nairobi) were awarded a total of 120,000 Euros for their outstanding projects.
The German School Nairobi that took up 3rd place and took home €20,000 won for their project, “Vom Wert des Lernens” (The value of education). The project run in cooperation with the Star Kids School, the German School Nairobi and the “Berufskolleg Höxter (BKH)” (Höxter Vocational Training Centre) incorporates activities in the areas of research and learning, as well as in the fields of sport and culture.
Lab sessions are a prerequisite for KCSE exams but with many impoverished schools, the Star Kids Schools isn’t well equipped and herein comes the German School Nairobi and the Höxter Vocational Training Centre that allow the children from both schools get to have some classes together in the state of the art labs at the German School Nairobi and share ideas. The BKH then introduces the students of the Star Kids School to the principle of dual Ausbildung. These include, for example, free German lessons, offered by retired BKH teachers. The aim of the project is to offer Ausbildungen for painters and plumbers at the DSN by 2020.
In the project “Kunterbunt + Freiheit“, the students get to discuss and share their views on topics e.g. equal rights and intercultural coexistence through dancing and singing. The students from both schools develop thematic musical performances, which they then perform together.