Karliczek: We are shaping local futures with education and training

The Federal Ministry of Education is providing immediate support to municipalities in their work on education and training with two innovative projects.

The centres of excellence "Education for sustainable development - municipalities" and "Education in structural change" are commencing work in the Lusatia, Rhenish and Central German lignite mining districts. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the municipalities at a local level in their innovative education and training work.

Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek explains: "With good quality education and training, we are together shaping the future of each individual and the future of our country. We are only able to overcome profound changes in the mining regions, such as structural change, with relevant training provision to support this. For this we require innovative concepts which are suitable for existing local structures. We must stick to the key education and training themes that drove forward our work before the coronavirus crisis. This applies, for example, to education for sustainable development. The shift towards more sustainable living and working also necessitates changes to the training provision for all stages of life. The new centres of excellence enable us to support the municipalities in both of these tasks. The Federal Ministry of Education is providing around 10 million euros to support this over the next three years. With this, we are contributing to greater sustainability and fair future prospects for our citizens."

The presidents of the municipal umbrella organisations, Mayor Burkhard Jung (Association of German Cities), Head of District Authority Reinhard Sager (German County Association) and Mayor Ralph Spiegler (German Association of Towns and Municipalities) commented: "Education and training for sustainable development is not a niche issue, but a key part of the landscape of municipal education and training. We are delighted that the federal government is also its means to specifically support the many interested municipalities in education and training work related to sustainability. It is about consolidating knowledge relating to sustainable work and living. The expansion of training provision is particularly important for those lignite mining districts impacted by structural change. The challenging transformation process needs to be shaped by the towns, cities, districts and communities affected. In this respect the planned centres of excellence can flexibly align their provision to the local requirements of each municipality. This represents a good contribution to enabling participation in education and training for people of all ages."


The centre of excellence "Education in structural change" (term: 2020–2022) supports the municipalities and regions in the lignite mining districts (Lusatia, Rhenish and Central German mining districts) in providing their citizens with high-quality and appropriate training provision at all stages of life. The aim is to develop the necessary education and training offers and strategies as part of the structural change. A network office is located in each lignite mining district. These are integrated within regional structural change bodies. They are also developing regional education and training monitoring that includes data on demographics, the economy and on existing training provision, and serves as a basis for shaping new education and training concepts in the period of structural change.

In the Rhenish mining district, the centre of excellence is located at the Institute for Social Work [Institut für soziale Arbeit e.V., ISA], in the Central German mining district it is based at the German Youth Institute (DJI), and in the Lusatia district it is based at kobra.net, Kooperation in Brandenburg gGmbH which supports education and training in the region of Brandenburg. "Education for sustainable development" (ESD) consolidates knowledge relating to sustainable behaviour and provides strategies for addressing global, environmental, economic and social challenges in our connected world. After five successful years of the existing UNESCO global action programme “Education for Sustainable Development", UNESCO is now launching its new programme: "Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs" - "ESD for 2030" for short. The ESD structures already successfully established in Germany over recent years under the leadership of the BMBF will also be continued in the new programme.

The intention is that ESD becomes more firmly embedded in the local educational institutions by municipalities. This goal will be supported and monitored by the new centre of excellence "Education for sustainable development - municipalities" (term: 2020–2023). A network comprising the German Youth Institute (DJI), the training support association Lower Saxony municipal education and training management, [Kommunales Bildungsmanagement Niedersachsen e.V., TV NDS], and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH (UFZ) form the new ESD Centre. From the four locations of Leipzig, Halle, Munich and Osnabrück, up to 50 municipalities are supported across the country in delivering education and training for sustainable development in all educational institutions at a local level - from nursery to adult education.

ESD is intended to enable children and adults to recognise the impacts of their own actions and in doing so to act responsibly in their decision-making. The goal is a society which maintains a focus on the well-being of future generations. The varied range of provision includes both individual guidance as well as cross-municipal training workshops and learning spaces as well as European discussion formats.

Both centres are building on the successful work of the municipal training management transfer initiative supported by the BMBF.

Source: bmbf.bund.de (press release by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), revised by iMOVE, January 2021