Germany (Prussia) 1919 Constitution

Table of Contents


Article 142

Art and science and the teaching of them are free. The state vouchsafes them protection and participates in their cultivation.

Article 143

The education of young persons is to be provided for by means of public institutions. In their establishment Empire, Lands and Communes work together.

The education of teachers is to be regulated uniformly for the Empire, in accordance with the principles which are applied generally to higher education.

The teachers in public schools have the rights and duties of state officials.

Article 144

The entire school system stands under the supervision of the state; it can call upon the co-operation of the Communes. The supervision of schools is exercised by high, professionally trained officials.

Article 145

There exists universal compulsory education. Its accomplishment shall be served, fundamentally by elementary schools with at least eight school years, and by connecting continuation schools until the completed eighteenth year of life. The instruction and the school supplies in the elementary and continuation schools shall be furnished free of charge.

Article 146

The public school system is to be planned organically. Upon a primary school common to all there shall be built up the intermediate and higher school system. For this building-up the variety of vocations is to be the guide, and for the reception of a child into a particular school the guide shall be his aptitude and inclination, and not the economic and social position or the religious belief of his parents.

Within the Communes, however, there are to be established, upon request of those entitled to instruction, elementary schools of their faith or of their view of the world, in so far as thereby an organized school system—also in the sense of Paragraph One of this Article—is not impaired. The will of those entitled to instruction is to be considered as much as possible. Land legislation shall provide for details in accordance with the principles of an Imperial statute.

For the admission of the less well-to-do to the intermediate and higher schools, public means are to be furnished by Empire, Lands and Communes, especially assistance for parents in rearing children who are deemed fit for training in intermediate and higher schools, until the finishing of the training.

Article 147

Private schools as substitutes for public schools need the approval of the state and are under the Land statutes. The approval is to be given if the private schools, in their educational aims and arrangements and also in the scientific development of their teaching forces, do not stand below the public schools and a separation of the scholars according to the means of the parents is not furthered. The approval is to be denied if the economic status and legal status of the teaching forces are not sufficiently secured.

Private elementary schools are permissible only if there exists for a minority of those entitled to instruction, whose will is to be considered according to Article 146, Paragraph Two, no public elementary school of their faith or of their view of the world in the Commune, or if the educational administrative authorities recognize a special pedagogical interest.

Private preparatory schools are to be abolished.

For private schools which do not serve as substitutes for public schools the law remains as it is.

Article 148

In all schools moral training, civic sentiment, personal and vocational efficiency are to be aimed at, in the spirit of German nationality and of the reconciliation of nations.

In the instruction in public schools care is to be taken not to hurt the feelings of persons of a different way of thinking.

Civics and labor are to be taught in the schools. Every pupil shall receive a copy of the Constitution upon completion of the compulsory education.

National education, including national universities, is to be fostered by Empire, Lands and Communes.

Article 149

Religious instruction shall be a regular subject of the school curricula, except in non-confessional (secular) schools. The imparting of it shall be regulated within the limits of the school legislation. Religious instruction shall be imparted in conformity with the principles of the respective religious society, without prejudice to the right of supervision of the state.

The imparting of religious instruction and the use of church forms are optional with the instructors, and the participation (by the pupil] in religious studies and in church festivities and ceremonies is left to the decision of him who has to settle the matter of the religious education of the child.

The theological faculties in the universities remain in existence.

Article 150

The monuments of art, of history and of nature and also scenery enjoy the protection and care of the state.

It is a matter of the Empire to prevent the exportation of German art treasures to foreign countries.

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