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PANEL 1: Contributions of Civil Society
Panel-1-3-Mr-Sello-Hatang-2 Dr. Helmut Dinse
President, Eringerfeld Educational Institution (Germany)

Dr. Dinse is the headmaster of Realschule Eringerfeld. He studied German literature and language, Philosophy, Pedagogics and Geography in university. He worked as a school teacher from 1973 to 1979 and principal of high schools since 1979. Dr. Dinse has extensively published in various journals on the topics such as German middle ages literature and language; social and theological geography; school management, environmental education and school management, teaching methods.

DR. HELMUT DINSE, President of Eringerfeld Educational Institution in Germany, gave a speech on the contribution of the civil society to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. He started by discussing the role of education in sustainable development. Having considered education a highly complex concept to define, Dr. Dinse used Plato’s allegory of the cave to conclude that only very few individuals are called to develop an enlightened worldview. Based on this assumption, he concluded that education and worldview are irreplaceable foundations for a sustainable development. Dr. Dinse said that only through an excavated education on sustainable development does the notion of a responsible use of recourses get rooted in a society.

Dr. Dinse’s second point was on “social justice” in the German educational landscape. He stated his conviction that only the socially responsible individuals have the right measure of education. Therefore, he said that the promotion of social competence, which is neglected in Germany’s social context, has always been a priority in his teaching practice. Dr. Dinse expressed his disappointment with the study results that have shown that German educational landscape is shaped more by social inequality than by equality of chances. He added that, in Germany, there is a lack of teachers with social empathy. “Children and youth from families with a migration background are still among the social outsiders in Germany,” said Dr. Dinse. He elaborated saying that children with learning disabilities are also at a disadvantage since their needs are unacknowledged. In concluding this point, Dr. Dinse underlined the crucial role that the teacher plays in establishing social justice among his/her students.

In his third point, Dr. Dinse discussed the educational initiative of the Regenbogen e.V, a school in Germany that aims to support the education of students from different countries to create equal opportunities for everyone. He stated that the visible discrimination that children with an immigration status face at school is due to the cliché that the parents of these children are not interested in giving them the best education. Dr. Dinse asserted the lack of truth in such statement and insisted on the necessity to give these families information about the complex facets of the German school system. In Regenbogen e.V, Dr. Dinse said that there was private tutoring and coaching of students with non-German backgrounds.

Dr. Dinse’s last point discussed the successful story of the Gymnasium and the Realschule Eringerfeld, which support children‘s school careers and their personal development. He considered the integration program at these institutions, which promotes cultural and religious tolerance between all students, an indicator of success at these schools. Dr. Dinse also commented on these schools’ role in teaching their students open-mindedness, tolerance, acceptance, and all corresponding characteristics. In conclusion, Dr. Dinse expressed his wish in having all students learn the “worldview” that contributes to a sustainable development and social equality in Germany.