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
14 excellent schools are in the end round for the award of the German School Award (Deutscher Schulpreis) 2017. Delegations of pupils and teachers will take part in the awards ceremony with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on 29 May. Already for the second time German schools abroad could participate in the competition.
‘We are DAS!’ was the motto of the Regional Networking Conference of Region 11, including Egypt, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Kenia. From 24 to 25 March, headmasters, administration managers and school board members of German schools abroad (DAS) of the region came together in Cairo.
Finally, also in region 9, eleven German schools abroad met in Dublin from 9 to 11 Mach for the First Regional Networking Conference in Central Europe. They had been invited by St. Killian's German School in Dublin and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA).
On 23 June 2016, DSD pupils from Bulgarian schools had the opportunity to enter into direct dialogue with the heads of state of Bulgaria and Germany, President Rossen Plevneliev and Federal President Joachim Gauck.
Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier set off for a state visit to Tirana in Albania on 14 June. The last point on his agenda was to take time to hold a discussion with some young Albanians. Among the 23 young people was a large group of pupils from the German-Albanian department of the Sami Frasheri High School in Tirana.
A milestone in the German-Chinese Year of Student and Young People’s Exchanges was the first annual conference of the PASCH initiative, organised by the Education Ministry of the People’s Republic of China on 24 May. It brought around 250 representatives of Chinese PASCH schools and education authorities together with the partners responsible for PASCH on the German side.