Regional Networking Conference Cairo: ‘We are DAS!’
‘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.
The conference at the German Science Centre (DWZ) in Cairo began with a welcome address by the German Ambassador to Egypt, Julius Georg Luy, and a guest speech on ‘Continuity and change – strategies for the sustainability of DAS’ by Dr Martin Creutzburg, adviser on organisational and personnel development, coach and supervisor.
In addition to the headmasters, administration managers and school board representatives of eleven schools, of which seven are located in Egypt, Regional Commissioner Olaf Peleikis and Dr Hans Brügmann of the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) were among the participants. The Regional ZfA Facilitator, Dr Susanne Peters, coordinated and moderated the conference, where different forms of work were used.
In a ‘world café’, the participants dealt with marketing, parents' work, social responsibility towards the host country, scholarships, taking into account cultural diversity, and alumni work. In deepening workshops with speakers from schools and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) participants received input for their further work.
‘We are all in the same boat!’
One participant summarized the outcome of the conference saying: ‘We are all in the same boat!’ The encounter and exchange with others were essential to this. The participants positively acknowledged the broadening of mind ‘for the greater good’ of the German schools abroad and the suggestions made by representatives of other schools. All went home with the good feeling that they are not alone with the challenges they face at their respective school and that they receive assistance.
On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office and in close cooperation with the federal states, the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) of the Federal Office of Administration as the federal supervision authority provides financial, personnel and pedagogical assistance to currently 140 German schools abroad. It accompanies their quality-oriented school-development. Further, the ZfA provides assistance to and promotes approximately 25 national schools with a German teaching and graduation profile as well as about 1,100 national schools where the German Language Certificate (DSD) can be acquired. All schools that receive assistance from the ZfA are connected through the initiative ‘Schools: Partners for the Future’ (PASCH). The ZfA provides advice on the establishment of new schools with a German profile, the organization of German-language instruction and the introduction of German school-leaving qualifications in line with international standards.