Some 3,200 guidance counsellors will be employed to specifically help struggling students beginning in the seventh grade, Schavan told broadcaster ARD. They will analyse these pupils' interests and abilities, help them stay in school, and support them in the search for a career or higher education.
Students who have trouble staying in school need “backing” and “encouragement,” Schavan said.
Money for the programme will come from €12 billion in educational funding set aside by Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition for this legislative period.
Supporting students beyond school into job-training is particularly important because in the end without jobs the expense to the government would “all be much more expensive,” Schavan said.
Guidance counsellors are already in place at some schools, she told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk in a later interview, adding that practice should be expanded to avoid sending ill-prepared students into the workforce.