Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA)
The Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA) of the Federal Office of Administration supports over 1,200 schools worldwide, including 140 German schools abroad – mainly in public-private partnership – and approximately 1,100 schools in the respective educational system in which the German Language Certificate (DSD) can be acquired. On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office and in close cooperation with the federal states, the ZfA provides them with personnel, financial and pedagogical assistance. The ZfA, which was established at the Federal Office of Administration in 1968, reports to the Federal Foreign Office.
German schools abroad, mostly conceived as international schools, are open not only to children of Germans working abroad and wishing German education for their kids. Three out of four pupils are from the respective host countries or other cultures, thus getting the chance to familiarize themselves with Germany, its culture, and language. These high-profile institutions of the German school system are very popular worldwide and constitute an important pillar of cultural relations and education policy.
The ZfA is responsible for the placement, financial support, preparation, and further education of teachers. About 2,000 teachers placed by the ZfA are employed at German schools all over the world.
ZfA news from abroad
The prestigious German School Prize has been awarded for the tenth time this year. For the first time, the list of nominees included two German Schools Abroad. The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the special prize to the German International School Johannesburg in Berlin on 8 June 2016.
In the wake of its move to the new building in Dubai Academic City in August 2015, the Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai (DISD) is now one of the world’s most state-of-the-art German schools abroad. The building was ceremonially inaugurated on 16 April 2016.
On 10 May, the prize-giving ceremony for the Fifth Chamber of Commerce (IHK) German Schools Abroad competition, held under the banner of "School Students Build Global Bridges", was held at the House of German Business in Berlin. This year’s winners were the Deutsche Schule Pretoria, the Deutsche Schule Washington and the Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule Kairo.
The Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA) has been awarded the status of Institutional Affiliate at the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE), the leading organisation of its kind.
From 13 to 15 April 2016 the German Federal Foreign Office joined forces with its partners to present for the first time the entire spectrum of Germany’s foreign policy in cultural and educational matters at the "Inspiring People" ("Menschen bewegen") forum in Berlin. Also involved was the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA).
The Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) invited over 70 ZfA consultants and professional advisors attend its annual conference in Bonn from 22-26 February. Along with topics such as foreign languages and continuing education didactics, quality assurance in German teaching and the language diploma programme were the main focus.