Germany Essay

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Education and Cultural Activities
Though the FRG (West Germany) and the GDR (East Germany) shared centuries of cultural history, the GDR was heavily influenced by Soviet values and social systems. Since reunification the educational system in eastern Germany has abandoned the Soviet polytechnic model of comprehensive education for all high school students, and returned to the specialized system of the western part of the country.
Schooling in Germany is compulsory and free for people between the ages of 6 and 18. Although education is controlled by the individual state governments, national coordinating groups ensure that school systems and requirements are roughly the same throughout the region. Almost all
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Such midcourse changes were easiest at the small but growing number of comprehensive schools, which offered all three programs—vocational, commercial, and academic. Schools of continuing education for adults, such as the many Volkshochschulen (people's universities), offer a variety of courses and have some programs leading to diplomas.
Germany has long been known for the quality of its institutions of higher learning, and one of its universities, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg (1386), is among the oldest in Europe (see Heidelberg, University of). Other leading universities in Germany are in Berlin, Bonn, Erlangen, Frankfurt am Main, Freiburg, Göttingen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Marburg an der Lahn, Munich, and Tübingen. Germany also has numerous teacher-training institutions; schools of fine arts, music, and filmmaking; and schools of theology.
Cultural Institutions
Unlike English and French cultural life, which is centered in the capital cities, London and Paris, German cultural life has traditionally flourished in many cities. For centuries these cities were the capitals of the many independent German states, whose rulers encouraged art, music, theater, and scholarship as expressions of their power. Berlin was the cultural as well as the political capital of a united nation from
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