In Germany, Catholic Schools Are Much in Demand

Attract Half the Students Being Educated in Private Institutions

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BERLIN, APRIL 16, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Applications for entrance to Catholic schools exceed the number of places available by 30%, says Cardinal Karl Lehmann.



Moreover, the number of students in the Catholic Church's 1,137 schools in Germany has increased steadily in recent years, reaching a record 370,000 for the school year 2002-2003, said the cardinal, who is president of the bishops' conference.

The figure represents 3% of the total number of students in German schools, but a full 50% of the student body in the country's private schools.

Even those parents who don't care much for religious education choose these schools because they offer traditional educational methods, Cardinal Lehmann said at a meeting of Catholic schools, held in Bonn recently.

An article last year in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit focused on the high standard and attention offered in Catholic schools.

Catholic schoolteachers offer special tutoring and support, and emphasize to parents the importance of their children completing their homework, a fact not stressed in public schools.

Cardinal Lehmann added that in analyzing the quality of education offered in countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a study of the Program for International Students Assessment accorded the German educational system a poor overall result.

This caused an uproar in the country, but served to point up the good quality of education in Catholic schools.