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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Germany

Germany

8. Creativity and Culture

8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture

On this page
  1. Fostering equality and young people involvement through cultural activities
  2. Combating discrimination and poverty through cultural activities

There is a general consensus within society that cultural education should help to promote social inclusion and combat exclusion, discrimination and poverty (see the position paper of the general meeting of the German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning [Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung] dated February 2011 “Culture opens up new worlds: More opportunities through cultural education” [Kultur öffnet Welten: Mehr Chancen durch Kulturelle Bildung]).

Fostering equality and young people involvement through cultural activities

Organisations providing cultural education for children and young people feel that cultural education activities „allow children and young people to explore their need for self-expression, participation and community. At the same time, they help young people to develop creativity, critical thinking, confidence, tolerance and a sense of responsibility. In this way, cultural education allows them to develop a personality and learn to participate in the social, political and cultural sphere.“[1] This conviction is a fundamental hallmark of quality when it comes to non-school cultural education; it is mainstreamed through all activities and projects in this area, its principles, formats and methods and its educational approaches. All funding programmes in Germany are based around it, with funding assigned accordingly.

 

Combating discrimination and poverty through cultural activities

The inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities by means of and in cultural education is a major objective for providers of cultural education, policymakers, and a large number of funding programmes. Specifically, the objective is that cultural education for children and young people recognise diversity and genuinely seek to achieve inclusion.

Examples of programmes at the federal level include:

  • Education package (Bildungspaket) The “Education package” (Bildungspaket) provides services especially for children, young people and young adults who receive the so-called unemployment benefit II (Arbeitslosengeld II) support or social benefits, or whose parents receive supplementary child allowance (Kinderzuschlag) or housing benefit (Wohngeld) (See Youth Wiki > Social Inclusion > Access to Quality Services). Anyone who receives benefits under the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) is also entitled to funding under the educational package. Individuals may also be entitled to services under the educational package in accordance with Book II of the Social Code (SGB II) even if neither the child nor its parents receives any of the social benefits listed, but where the specific educational and participatory needs of the child cannot otherwise be met. The education package provides targeted support to 2.5 million children and young people. It also provides grants and subsidies to needy children who want to participate in sports, games and cultural activities in their free time. A monthly amount of up to 10 euros is available, for example for membership fees, other fees or in exceptional cases for equipment. The education package is implemented locally in districts and independent towns/cities. Specific approaches to implementing the education package can vary across districts and independent towns/cities.
 

The arrival of a large number of refugees in Germany (culminating in 2015) was occasion for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) to point to the pivotal role of cultural education in building a “culture of integration”. Cultural education providers still face major challenges in this regard. While there are already a number of formats and concepts for this, it is vital “not to turn refugees into a target group for educational activities or to attempt to assimilate them into mainstream society, but to interact with them as stakeholders, interlocutors, as teachers and learners, as actors.” (Ziese, M.; Gritschke, C., page 25) In addition, a number of funding options are available for projects, although there is currently no platform or database specifically for projects by, involving, or for refugees.