Schools which provide all-day schooling go back a long way in Saarland: the further expansion of all-day schooling therefore makes a significant contribution to the forward-looking development of Saarland's education system and to the enhancing of equal opportunities in it.
Offering high-quality education and supervision throughout the day, the compulsory all-day schools in particular – enable schoolchildren's needs to be met. Anyone who wants to have flexible afternoon supervision provided to his or her children, particularly to facilitate their work-life balance, will find what they need anywhere in Saarland. This is because nearly all general secondary schools provide all-day schooling – on either a compulsory or voluntary basis, the latter providing a diverse forms of supervision in the afternoons.
Equivalent routes to school-leaving exams
Parents and children can choose either a grammar school where the course lasts eight years, or a comprehensive school where the school-leaving exams are taken after 9 years, following the intermediate and school-leaving certificate. So that parents don't feel they are left to make this choice on their own, a non-binding recommendation of the type of schooling to be followed is provided in the child's mid-year report in the fourth year of primary school. Saarland has three bi-national schools: the pre-school and primary school education provided by the French School of Saarbrücken und Dillingen (EFSD), the German-French Grammar School in Saarbrücken (DFG), and the German-Luxembourg Schengen Grammar School in Perl.
Vocational schools: playing a key role
Following completion of a general secondary school course, the vocational schools offer many opportunities for dual vocational training. Part of the training takes place at the training company, and part at vocational colleges. Comprehensive career advice is provided by the chamber of commerce and industry, the chambers of handicrafts, and by job centres. When looking for a training or work placement opportunity it's well worth taking a look at Welcome Center Saar's jobs portal at willkommen.saarland and also getting careers advice from the 'Agentur für Arbeit Saarland'. The general principle is that all young people in Saarland should have an opportunity to work and obtain gainful employment. Pilot projects run by the state government, such as "Ausbildung jetzt" ("Training now") or "AnschlussDirekt" ("DirectLink") help to improve success in the jobs market.
Joint study and work experience model
Young people who have obtained their standard or vocational school-leaving certificate can undertake a practical or a training- or work-based course of study as part of a sandwich course. This can be done in various occupations, and it is offered within many study courses at htw saar and Saarland University. Saarland's vocational academies – the University of Cooperative Education (ASW), the Saarland Health and Social Service Academy (BA GSS), and the University of Cooperative Education (ISBA) as well as the DHfPG (German University for Health Promotion and Management) – offer a wide range of sandwich courses. The linking of practical and theoretical content gives students an excellent insight into professional life as well as an academic degree. And for all those who leave their studies without completing the final examination, the Saarland chamber of handicrafts (HWK) project "Vom Hörsaal ins Handwerk" ("From the lecture room to a trade") shows the promising range of future opportunities offered by training in the handicrafts field.