Germany has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe but the standard of its education system is full of contradictions.
Published: 22 October 2013 10:23 CEST
Its apprenticeship scheme is praised around the world, but its universities struggle to compete internationally and a sixth of adults have the reading age of a ten-year-old.
German schools divide pupils at an early age. When they are aged ten or 11 children are put into one of three tiers of school.
The brightest head to the Gymnasium, the average to the Realschule, while those who fail to pass exams go to the Hauptschule.
The early split has a huge influence on children’s futures. Students at either of the two lower-level schools usually go into vocational training or apprenticeships while universities are dominated by Gymanisum pupils.
A report last year from the Bertelsmann Foundation found German schools are only good in areas where they are unfair – and where they are fair, they are generally no good.