How the Freiburg project "Wegweiser Bildung" is helping

The "Wegweiser Bildung" [Signpost for education] team is helping people to understand the German education training system and together with them is developing strategies for school-based and vocational education and training.

Djamila Zerroubi (31) knew for a long time that she wanted to do training. But how should she go about this? She found this out from the "Wegweiser Bildung" service provided by the adult education centre and the city library. For Aleksandra Kliukina (32) from Russia, it was important following her arrival in Freiburg to find out from the team how she could find a school for her daughter.

It was some years before Djamila Zerroubi was able to properly focus on the issue of her career. She arrived in Freiburg from Algeria in 2012, got to know her former husband and quickly fell pregnant. Her eldest daughter is now eight years old. Eighteen months after the birth of her daughter, Djamila Zerroubi started a German course and worked as a cleaner to get by since her Algerian qualification as a hairdresser was not recognised. Her second daughter was born five years ago and in 2019 she separated from her husband. Even then, having lived in Germany for several years, she still did not have the information she needed to enter the German labour market. She was in the Haslach district office to enquire about another problem she was having, and it was here she came across the contact details for "Wegweiser Bildung". Since August, the team of five – which covers the equivalent of 2.7 full-time positions between them – has been providing advice regularly in district centres, day nurseries and schools in Haslach, Landwasser, Betzenhausen and Brühl-Beurbarung. "I didn't have a clue what to do," explains Djamila Zerroubi. The advisor, Silke Bauer, showed her training courses and their requirements.

The profession of nursery school teacher appealed to Djamila Zerroubi. However, for this she would have needed an intermediate secondary school leaving certificate. Over the course of the advice process she developed a long-term strategy for achieving her goal. Starting in August 2019, she returned to education and studied for the lower secondary school leaving certificate at the adult education centre. Her daughters were attending day nurseries and school and had childcare in the afternoons – she attended lessons in the mornings and studied in the afternoons. The coronavirus made everything harder because she was often only able to study once the children were sleeping. However, Djamila Zerroubi is ambitious. "like to study," she says. She applied for training as a child care assistant in autumn 2020 and started straight after the lower secondary school leaving certificate.

Over the last two-and-a-half years she's now been alternating between theoretical tuition – often online over recent months – and practical months spent in the "Glückskinder" daycare centre in Haslach. She likes the work but is also very clear about the future: "I want to go forward." From the information provided by "Wegweiser Bildung" she knows that she can complete further education and training to become a day nursery manager or a nursery school teacher. She wants to discuss exactly how to go about this with Silke Bauer with whom she is still in contact. She's happy about this.

Aleksandra Kliukina was also relieved when she came across "Wegweiser Bildung" in 2019. Her husband had found a job in Freiburg as a construction engineer and it all happened very quickly. Aleksandra Kliukina, who worked in Moscow as an art historian and a children's book author, and who was now working as a tour guide for Russian tourists, was not searching for advice for herself, but for her three children – in particular for the eldest who at that time had to start school. Neither she nor her daughters spoke German so she was very grateful that advice from “Wegweiser Bildung” could be provided in Russian. Her daughter was enrolled at the Clara Grunwald School in the district of Rieselfeld, and Aleksandra Kliukina acquainted herself with the German school system.

Wegweiser Bildung [Signpost for education] 

Free advice has been provided since 2012 on all issues relating to education and training. Online advice is also possible. So far, according to manager Elke Scheffelt, advice has been provided to around 12,000 people individually, in groups or at events. Two-thirds of women and approximately half of those seeking advice come from a migration background. In addition to German, advice can also be provided in English, French, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, and Spanish and soon Arabic will also be possible.

Source: (website of the German newspaper Badische Zeitung), revised by iMOVE, September 2021