The town of Herne, in North Rhine-Westphalia, hosted five of our best final year students from the Pedagogical Institute's Faculty of Foreign Languages. The students witnessed the German education and social care system in action
Herne has been twinned with Belgorod since 1990, and has hosted students from BNRU for many years. Final year student teachers spend the first part of the academic year gaining practical experience in the classroom. For Victoria Sheludchenko, Polina Melikhova, Diana Naryzhnaya, Anastasia Livenskaya and Maria Cherno'usova, the practical was spent in Germany at the invitation of Ulrich Klonka, Chairman of Herne's Partnership Committee. Their hard work through the course of their university education was rewarded with the opportunity to visit a kindergarten, a primary school, and a special education school in Herne. They also toured the towns civil amenities, including a leisure centre and a women's refuge. They were also able to visit Cologne and Düsseldorf, tour Cologne Cathedral, and attend concerts and participate in cultural events.
Our students were struck by some of the little differences in the focus of German education, which is slanted towards the learning experience of the student. For example, our students were delighted to find out that on Mondays, a primary teacher brings her dog to school as a teaching aid, that the children with special needs were well cared for, and that children were actively involved in green projects. They also noted that Germany has a program that gives leavers of full-time education a chance to work in social care for a year, as a way of easing them into the workforce.
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