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Initially reading and writing were taught to prepare the population to read the Bible. As the years went on and the culture began to change, academic skills began to be taught to prepare students for careers. Everyday the schools are changing in some way. With in the last fifteen to twenty years the German public schools have taken on the responsibility for special education (which until then was the responsibility of medical and state institutions or the home). Although some things are changing, most will probably stay the same for a while. Extracurricular activities, ranging from music to sports, are the responsibilities of the communities, churches, and amateur athletic associations. Students must rely on private or public transportation and food services. Health and safety issues are the responsibility of HMOs, government, churches, private institutions, and of the home (Menacker, 1979).
Vocational training continues to be primarily the responsibility of business and industry. The Berufsschulen is the two- to three-year vocational schools that help prepare students for their careers. After attending the junior secondary program, a student may attend the Berufsschulen – full time and take programs that usually last between twelve and eighteen months.

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