The German school was established in Belgrade in 1854 and the very first German-language kindergarten in the Balkans came into being in 1856! The school has produced architects, engineers and even university professors
The concept underlying the education system in the German school is application-specific and action-oriented. It is based upon the accrual of knowledge and promotes the development of individual capabilities, which are important in our world.
We had a pleasure of speaking with Stefan Wiedenhofer, Director of the German School of Belgrade and Christoph Czettl, Chairman of the Board of The German of School Belgrade.
Why not educate our children in Germany? What is the advantage of a German school in Belgrade?
– (SW) The concise answer in the form of a counterquestion und paraphrasing Goethe: Why seek far afield when good things could not be any closer by? You do not have to go to Germany to reap the benefits of German schooling and acquire recognised German qualifications, which facilitate third level studies both in Germany and worldwide.
-(CC) Parents and children notice the great advantages inherent in the education provided by our school when having spent time with us, they move on to a school in another country and are in a position to compare. In fact, the mother of one of our former pupils recently told us: “One often feels that many things can be improved upon but, believe me, you have many reasons to be proud”.
What are you be most proud of?
– (SW) Primarily there is both the long tradition and the valuable history of the German school in Serbia, in spite of its having repeatedly experienced politically troubled times.
– (CC) We are greatly encouraged in our efforts by the many reports of success received from our graduates, who are now studying in Berlin, Munich, Vienna or the USA. As a result of long years of experience, we are able to say that the scholastic journey of each and every child is individual and the result of various processes. The German school system is demanding. The School Board generously invests in and promotes individual teacher-to pupil instruction, alongside structural investments and efforts to provide optimal technical equipment.
– (SW) And we teachers work daily to convey knowledge, which the children learn to apply on many levels, but also use to find themselves.
Can you briefly describe the range of German School of Belgrade educational system?
– (SW) The German School of Belgrade offers education at all levels, from kindergarten to school leavers’ diplomas, with all subjects taught in German and all exams subject to German standards.
Because of governmental support, school fees are 50% lower than those of comparable international schools in Belgrade. This facility is described on our home page
– As I have just explained, it is as if the students were attending school in Germany. Our teaching is certified and regularly inspected by the German authorities. We follow the demanding school standards of the German Gymnasium. At the same time, we are of course also a Serbian school, as we are officially licensed by the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science.
But the German School Leaving Diploma, the Abitur, qualifies all students to attend universities in all European Union countries.
Where do your pupils come from?
– (SW) It is not only German-speaking families from Germany, Austria or Switzerland who have relocated to Belgrade who are interested in sending their children to a German-speaking school. About 70% of the students are from Serbian families, an important part of the backbone of the school.
How is the school financed?
– (CC) The German government supports us very generously. But it is, of course, expensive to run a school that offers international education and so a certain part of the cost needs to be financed by the school itself, meaning by the families, by school fees.
– (SW) We have a scholarship system in place from the fifth class onwards for those families whose children are amongst the highest performers but who, due to their income, are unable to afford the school. So, once again, why seek farther afield? Germany is found, in the form of the German school, right in the middle of Belgrade!