PASCH which stands for “Schools: Partners for the Future” is an initiative of the Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA), the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Educational Exchange Service (PAD) of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany, recently held a three-day conference. PASCH-Initiative and its goals were discussed in detail and the resulting perspectives for students in South Asia were explored together with by more than 40 Principals from PASCH Schools Northern South Asia.
Speaking on the occasion, Veronika Taranzinskaja, PASCH Head of South Asia said, “The conference brought discourse and reflection on interconnecting educational issues. The digital format of the conference did not allow for real encounters, but we were able to create an intimate exchange between principals and their representatives across the borders of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran.”
The main objectives of PASCH Initiative were introduced such as awakening interest and enthusiasm for Germany, motivating young people to learn German, to create intercultural understanding, by creating spaces for transcultural interaction between students.
A presentation of the PASCH projects in 2020/2021 was given by Veronika Taranzinskaja. The school principals also received information from the DAAD on living, studying and working in Germany. The representatives of the AHK with the Pro Recognition project showed which professional perspectives, graduates from South Asia can expect, especially with regard to apprenticeships and what support for the recognition of qualifications from Pro Recognition looks like in concrete terms.
A model was also presented on how professional orientation at PASCH schools could take place. Numerous school principals showed interest in the same. During the Barcamp on the second day of the conference; the school principals brought up current educational topics from everyday school life. Motivating contributions were made on the topics of “building the alumni network”, “learning in the new world” and “classroom management in online learning”, which led to constructive discussions.
Dr Steinmetz, a Specialist STEM vocabulary in GFL lessons and co-author of “German for Engineers”, 2018, explained how the promotion of technical language in STEM clubs at PASCH schools could be done. This topic holds a lot of importance for the South Asian high school graduates, as most of them choose Germany as their place of study and opt for STEM-relevant subjects.
A lot of variety and hilarity were brought by the workshop “These Strange German Ways”, conducted by Puneet Kaur, Head German in 1000 Schools. Principals also approached the German language in a “Learn German 1” course.