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Europe

German Press Review: Education Needed at Home and Abroad

The German press concerned itself with issues surrounding the entrenched problems in the Middle East, particularly between the Israelis and Palestinians and lamented at the state of the education system at home.

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Peace in the Middle East will require both Israelis and Palestinians to make compromises

The Westfälischer Anzeiger turned its attention to the on-going tensions and violence in the Middle East and called for more involvement by the United Nations in getting the warring Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table. The paper added that the UN would have to do more than just address Palestinian involvement in the continuing terror but find ways of changing the Israeli approach to the crisis if it had any hope of successfully forging a lasting peace.

However, the Nordkurier in Neubrandenburg was pessimistic about any involvement in the process coming from Washington any time soon as the presidential nomination campaign continues unabated. The paper lamented that -- avoiding any risk of alienating the vote of the strong pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. -- a tough stand against Ariel Sharon’s government is unlikely to be on the cards.

Elsewhere, a number of German papers commented on the results of a study on education conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and development, the OECD. The study criticized the state of German education in a number of areas.

The Ostsee Zeitung in Rostock wrote that the German economy is now paying for the mistakes that have been made in the education sector over the past two decades. Germany’s schools and universities, it commented, place too little emphasis on achievement, competition and practical knowledge. The paper added that if Germany were a student, it would be made to sit after school and do its homework.

The Nürnberger Zeitung placed the blame on an under funded, understaffed learning environment, especially at the country’s universities. Those who are responsible for culling the number of teachers working at universities should not be surprised, the paper wrote, when so many students eventually drop out of school. It concluded that German politicians should have asked themselves a long time ago why the country’s Nobel Prize winners of previous years all did their research abroad.

Another paper in Nürnberger, the Nürnberger Nachrichten, wrote on the subject and said that the study showed once again that Germany doesn’t have too many academics but too few and this is something education and business experts have been pointing out for years.

The Bremer Nachrichten joined in by saying that Germany should be trying to become a world leader in the education sector, and to achieve this, it will have to spend more money on education and institute sweeping reforms.