• The 1950s saw a move towards comprehensive education where pupils of all abilities followed the same general curriculum
  • For the final two years of secondary education pupils were offered an academic route or a vocational route
  • Margot Honecker was education minister from 1963 until 1989
  • Links with industry were developed


  • Curriculum underpinned by socialist principles - Law on the Unified Socialist Education System introduced in 1965
  • All pupils required to study citizenship
  • Russian was the modern foreign language studied
  • University places limited in the 1970s as the GDR began to have an overqualified workforce
  • The fall in university places meant that applicants needed to show they were politically loyal
  • Those who had not participated in the Jugendweihe or had not opted to do military service (introduced in 1962) found it difficult to obtain university places


Overall, both a success and a failure. 




You can compare education anywhere, in any country you will find pros and cons. It will be different everywhere, somewhere for the better, and somewhere for the worse. For example, I failed college, I didn’t like it there because I never did anything myself. Even when I was asked to write about leadership styles, I used for this. I decided to just go to courses, where I immediately know that after them I will be hired somewhere. Since there is a narrow profile of education and I will teach what I need.