40 Years GESM

40 Years GESM

Welcome to the German European School Manila's (GESM) 40th Anniversary Timeline! This timeline is a tribute to 4 decades of the GESM, from its inception in 1979 to the success of its online offerings in the midst of the pandemic in 2021. For more information, visit our website at www.gesm.org/enroll-now

1979-10-23 00:00:00

Parents meet with the German Embassy with idea to start a German school in Manila

A group of parents interested in founding a German school in Manila met with German Embassy Cultural Attaché Dr. Christoph Jessen at the German Club Manila. Some 20 persons came headed by Mrs. Irmgard Kolsch and Mrs. Helga Schumacher.

1980-08-05 00:00:00

The Jose-Rizal-Schule opens its doors

Some ten months after that fateful German Club meeting, the Deutsche Schule Manila or “DSM” began operations in August 1980, headed by Mr. Alexander Karamanlaki, who is sent by request by the German government.

1980-11-17 00:00:00

The School Libary opens

The DSM finally had a proper library. Among other reasons, the delay came from the fact that the School Board projected a mere 39 enrollees for the school’s maiden year. By the end of the school’s very first year, however, more than 70 pupils had attended the school for different lengths of time.

1982-11-26 00:00:00

First ZfA visit to DSM

DSM gets its first real visit from top German authority in the form of Herr Dr. Becker, head of the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA)

1983-08-03 00:00:00

Enrollee numbers hit 100+

The Jose-Rizal-Schule hit the 100-mark three years into its existence in S.Y. 1983/84. 93 pupils were enrolled as the school year started with 30 children in Kindergarten. By November of the same year, the numbers were up to 137 total enrollees.

1983-10-12 00:00:00

Parents' Council is constituted

While the parents have been the ones behind the school’s every step since the beginning, a formal Parents’ Council or Elternbeirat was not officially formed until October 1983.

1984-01-09 00:00:00

DSM moves to Pasig City

Compelled by the fast-growing student numbers, the DSM moved its location to the University of Life compound in Pasig City, some 4 kilometers East of its original location in Makati City. The new grounds were officially opened in a ceremony on February 17th 1984.

1985-02-07 00:00:00

DSM gets first PC

The DSM acquired its first ever personal computer in 1985. The machine was a donation given by ETSI Inc., a joint venture by Siemens, AG, and was to be used for teaching information technology.

1986-02-24 00:00:00

"People Power" Revolution forces closure

Towards the end of February 1986, Filipinos in massive numbers congregated along a stretch of EDSA to contest the recently confirmed Presidential election results: The 1986 People Power Revolution had begun

1987-05-18 00:00:00

First final examinations take place for 10th graders

School year ‘86/87 marks the first time that the school is able to conduct official school-leaving examinations (Schulabschlussprüfungen). It took place from May 18 to 25. Officials from Germany came to supervise the oral part of exams and conferred with the other teachers during the assessments.

1987-11-09 00:00:00

First Teachers' Council elections

The very first elections of Teachers’ Representatives took place in November 1987. This was the beginning of a formal Teachers’ Council or Lehrerbeirat at the DSM, a system that’s in place until today.

1988-09-08 00:00:00

Employee strike traps teachers on campus

A number of employees of the University of Life, the vocational school whose grounds the DSM was occupying, went on strike on September 8th, 1988 forcing a suspension of classes.

1988-09-12 00:00:00

FIFA Trainer visits DSM new

Renowned FIFA Trainer Detmar Cramer visits the DSM and practices with the pupils, sharing tips and making demos. He was in the country to train local football coaches and trainers. Mr. Cramer played for FC Bayern München and won the Eurocup with them in 1975 and ‘76.

1989-12-01 00:00:00

Coup d'état attempt forces closure

One of the most serious coup d’état in Philippine history took place from December 1 to 9, 1989 when coordinated military takeovers took place in key locations across the country. Several urban blocks were closed and the German school was forced to suspend classes for a full week.

1990-12-03 00:00:00

Talks of a joint campus with the French school begin

In early December 1990, newly arrived Head of School Franz Janek (1990-1993) met with his counterparts of the British and French schools to discuss the possibility of founding a campus together.

1991-10-10 00:00:00

German & French schools decide to move in together

The official plan for the new campus was presented to the wider school management in a meeting on March 12th 1991: A shared campus with the French school in the south of Metro Manila. On October 10th, the French school finally and officially confirmed that it’s on board with the project.

1992-08-17 00:00:00

GESM starts offering bus service

With the move to the southern part of Metro Manila, the GESM started offering bus transportation service to all pupils. A large chunk of the student population still resided in the business and diplomatic centers of Ortigas and Makati, and the need for a reliable transportation system was great.

1992-08-17 00:00:00

DSM moves with the French school to the Eurocampus

On August 17th 1992, the DSM begun classes in its current location: the Eurocampus in Parañaque City. The move and renovations of the would-be campus took place over a 2-month period preceding S.Y. 1992/93. The French school subsequently started holding classes on campus two weeks later on August 31st.

1992-10-31 00:00:00

Eurocampus is officially inaugurated

The highly symbolic Eurocampus was formally inaugurated in a ceremonious event on October 31st

1993-11-17 00:00:00

Eurocampus expands to include the Dutch

On the November 17, 1993, the Dutch School – which was already operating on the Eurocampus in a limited capacity since the previous school year – was officially inaugurated as part of the growing Eurocampus.

1994-03-21 00:00:00

Eurocampus releases first joint yearbook, logo

“Projekt Eurocampus” was expanding rapidly.

1995-03-09 00:00:00

Legendary S. Sulaiman visits Eurocampus

On March 9, 1995, students of the Eurocampus were treated to a concert of indigenous southern Philippine instruments by the legendary musician and performer Simaon Sulaiman. Sulaiman and his troop performed musical numbers with the traditional kutyapi, kubing and palendag.

1996-03-11 00:00:00

Eurocampus opens new science laboratories new

On March 11, 1996, the Eurocampus opened new science laboratories for Physics and Chemistry. The official inauguration was attended by dignitaries of both German and French embassies, aside from important representatives by the Eurocampus management.

1996-09-09 00:00:00

British School Manila partly joins Eurocampus

On September 9, 1996, the British School Manila (BSM) begun holding their 7th grade classes at the Eurocampus.

1997-02-03 00:00:00

Eurocampus saves "Karla"

For less than a week in February 1997, parents, students, staff and teachers of the Eurocampus raised donations in a lightning speed effort to fund the much-needed operation of “Karla”, a 3-month-old baby who suffered from infection-riddled hydrocephalus.

1998-06-26 00:00:00

Asian Financial Crisis takes its toll

For the first time since the founding of the Eurocampus, the Joint Management Committee (JMC) is forced to report a stagnation in the number of pupils at the end of S.Y. 1997/‘98.

1999-06-15 00:00:00

Eurocampus Team takes home 4 medals from KL games despite odds

The odds did not look good for the Eurocampus Team that travelled to Kuala Lumpur in June 1999 for the 3rd Southeast Asian Games of German schools. Firstly, it was a small delegation: 19 athletes. Additionally, they were able to field only 11 to 15-year-olds (against 16 to 18-year-olds).

1999-08-23 00:00:00

Eurocampus goes online!

In S.Y. 1999/00 the Eurocampus Joint Management Committee (JMC) launched the Eurocampus website, then under the address “eurocampus.org.ph”. In the announcement about the website on the yearbook, it boasts of having 150 pages with information about enrollment, exhibitions and school projects.

2000-08-21 00:00:00

British School bids Eurocampus farewell

S.Y. 2000/01 was the last year spent by the BSM high school in the Eurocampus. What was supposedly a year-long stay became a 5-year-stint as the BSM’s relocation progressed longer than expected.

2000-12-09 00:00:00

German school turns 20

School year 2000-01 marked the German school’s 20th anniversary. Together with its Eurocampus partners, the DSM celebrated its anniversary in a Saturday programme on December 9, 2000. The event featured musical performances by students and teachers.

2001-03-02 00:00:00

Campus sports facilities get upgrade

On March 2, 2001, the Eurocampus inaugurated brand new sports facilities with an athletic competition among the German, French, and British school, as well as with students of a guest school, the Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Parañaque.

2001-06-16 00:00:00

German gradeschoolers perform for President

During the opening of the Southeast Asian game on the Eurocampus earlier in the year, pupils of the Grundschule performed a traditional Filipino “rice dance” accompanied by a Filipino children’s song.

2002-06-01 00:00:00

Renowned writer F. Hoppe visits German school

Through connections with the Goethe-Institut Manila, the German school was able to extend an invitation to renowned German writer and journalist Felicitas Hoppe to visit the school.

2003-07-31 00:00:00

European International School (EIS) is established

The German school’s ever-intensifying partnership with the French school culminated in the summer of 2003, when the DSM and EFM joined forces officially and founded the European International School, Inc. (EIS).

2003-12-01 00:00:00

Eurocampus Manila: SOAS Champions!

For the first and only time, the Eurocampus Manila Team was overall champions in the Southeast Asian Games for German schools! The international sporting event took place in December 2003 and was hosted by the German school in Singapore.

2004-05-31 00:00:00

First batch of IB exams

The first batch of 12th-graders students take the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) examinations in May 2004.

2005-07-08 00:00:00

German school solely handles IBDP

School year 2005/06 was the last time the French school (EFM) co-run the IB Diploma Programme for Grades 11 and 12 with the GESM.

2005-10-01 00:00:00

German school turns 25, throws Grand "Kulturfestival"

School year 2005/06 saw the German school turn 25 years old. The school celebrated with a programme in October 2005 attended by more than half a thousand guests.

2006-09-04 00:00:00

Canteen gets a facelift

Eurocampus students were greeted by a brand-new canteen as school started in school year 2006/07. Over the summer, the area was completely renovated, new equipment were installed and decorated with warm and bright colors.

2006-09-04 00:00:00

English-based Kindergarten offered for 1st time

For the first time ever, the German school opens its doors to English-based education in Kindergarten, starting the German school’s adoption of International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Primary Years Programme (specifically, the Early Years Programme or EYP).

2008-03-12 00:00:00

German school launches new logo

Together with the launch of the European Section, school officials and the embassy also launched a brand-new logo and website for the German school – now officially called “German School Manila” in English.

2008-03-12 00:00:00

European Section is founded

While English-based schooling was already being offered in preschool, the “European Section” was only officially launched on March 12, 2008. The German school was now ready to offer English-based education from Grade 1 and beyond.

2009-04-02 00:00:00

GESM releases Video Ad

A marketing campaign accompanied the school’s change of name and look. Notably, the school released this video commercial and had it played in different cinemas in the city. The student population was about to see a boost unlike any the school has seen before.

2009-09-26 00:00:00

Typhoon "Ondoy" hits Manila, GESM mobilizes relief for victims

In September 2009, typhoon Ketsana (known locally as “Ondoy”) dropped a month’s worth of rainfall onto the city in just 6 hours. Close to a thousand people lost their lives and many more their homes and livelihoods. Relatively unaffected by the torrent, the GESM mobilized the whole school community for a relief effort.

2010-06-09 00:00:00

GESM awarded for typhoon relief efforts

For its students’ efforts in organizing and providing relief for victims of typhoon Ondoy, as well as for other social engagements, the GESM was awarded a prestigious prize by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2010.

2010-12-06 00:00:00

GESM creates Facebook page

This day marks the earliest uploaded image on GESM’s Facebook account – the school logo.

2011-07-01 00:00:00

GESM awarded as "Excellent German School Abroad"

The GESM was very much in the middle of an exciting transformation in school year 2010/11 with the continuous expansion of its English-speaking offering and its taking on of a more inclusive and European identity.

2011-08-22 00:00:00

Intl Middle School offered, PYP accredited

In school year 2011/12, the GESM’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) was finally accredited – GESM became just one of 3 schools in the Philippines to offer the PYP, and the only one to offer the PYP and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) both.

2011-12-10 00:00:00

Plane crashes near GESM, students help out

On the afternoon of 10 December 2011, a 4-seater airplane crashed in an urban poor community near the vicinity of the GESM. The crash left 14 dead, injured ten, and destroyed the homes of dozens of families.

2012-01-09 00:00:00

European Section becomes "International"

A subsequent sharp increase in demand for the European Section came upon the school’s PYP accreditation. 50 new students came within the on-going school year, bringing the number of represented nationalities to 22 – a good chunk of whom are non-Europeans.

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