High school students with face mask in Frankfurt / Main (archive image)
Photo: Arne Dedert / dpa
More hybrid lessons with high numbers of infections, more school buses for postponed lessons, more often mask compulsory in lessons for pupils from the 7th grade: the decisions of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers on school lessons are only recommendations, ultimately the federal states decide for themselves.
"Actually everything stays the same," comments
Stephan Wassmuth from the Federal Parents' Council on
the resolutions: "My hope that the countries will finally learn something from the pandemic has unfortunately not been fulfilled." That makes him sad, says Wassmuth.
Obviously, school policy is only about saving yourself somehow until the use of the corona vaccine: "It's still not a strategy."
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The political representatives of the federal states rate the decisions much more positively.
“The resolutions are good and correct.
With consistent implementation, we can stabilize the school system and keep it open in principle, "said
Lower Saxony's Minister of Education, Grant Hendrik Tonne
(SPD), to SPIEGEL:" The joint preparatory work within the Conference of Ministers of Education has paid off.
We have already implemented most of it for Lower Saxony.
We will also include clear and transparent regulations in the regulation for hotspots. "
Hybrid lessons only based on local decisions
North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet
(CDU) defended the decisions.
All of Germany is now a hotspot, he said.
If there is an incidence value of over 200 infections regionally, there are now clear recommendations for action: "This is not the Solingen model and we will not bring an entire city into hybrid lessons, but make school-specific decisions," said the CDU politician.
At the beginning of November, his state government prohibited the city of Solingen from introducing a change-over shift model across the board at all public schools, although the local incidence value at the time was over 280.
The ban from Düsseldorf had caused heated discussions; individual school principals had initially opposed the order.
OECD Education Director Andreas Schleicher
also speaks of a "good solution" that he did not expect
»The decision leaves room for maneuver on site.
Schools in Germany, however, are not used to a lot of freedom, it now depends on how they deal with it. ”Because not all schools are equally well prepared for the changeover model.
"In Germany, many schools not only lack digital equipment, but also lack experience," Schleicher told SPIEGEL.
»Children and young people from difficult social backgrounds then fall behind again.
Hybrid lessons don't work for them.
The social gap continues to widen. "
No plan, no reliability
On the other hand,
Dario Schramm from the federal
student conference commented on
the decisions of the heads of government
on Thursday evening
"It would have needed clear announcements and concepts for the already overwhelmed schools, so everything stays the same - without a really safe look into the future," said the student representative.
He had the impression that politics was shifting from week to week, "without finally planning long-term."
The haphazard action in education finally needs an end.
Gudrun Wolters-Vogeler, chairwoman of the General School Management Association in Germany,
sees it similarly
: “The resolutions are not very consistent.
This regulation does not bring any new reliability. "Many students, parents and teachers are currently massively insecure and want to know which rules apply to contain the corona pandemic.
"Politicians should clarify this, but unfortunately that doesn't happen again."
If the alternating lessons are to apply from grade 8, but not to final grades, only a few students are affected at all.
Years 9, 10, 12 and 13 are graduating classes at the different school types.
Wolters-Vogeler admits, however: "There is no solution in this situation that has no disadvantages." If traceability is to be possible and the number of children in quarantine is to be reduced, the changeover model is a good solution, at least for older students.
Researchers praise the changing class model
On Wednesday, researchers from the Ifo Institute for Economic Research published a forecast of how different shutdown variants would affect the number of infections.
In doing so, they also considered in particular the closure or partial closure of the schools.
"Stricter measures in educational institutions or in retail or both, up to extensive contact and exit restrictions such as in the hard lockdown," are effective measures to reduce the number of infections, says
Andreas Peichl, head of the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys
In order to get back to an incidence value of 50 infections in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants nationwide, the introduction of switching classes and digital distance learning could be sufficient, says Peichl.
The prerequisite for this, however, is that the necessary technical infrastructure and the corresponding didactic concepts are in place: "Otherwise there is a risk of high costs in the education sector that could damage Germany in the long term."
The low incidence value can, however, also be achieved with schools that are regularly open, according to the researchers: "Closing and restricting further economic and business activities with schools open at the same time would have the same effect as a slight lockdown, but with school closings." Ultimately, says Andreas Peichl, it is a political decision about what is considered to be more acceptable: "The long-term damage from the restriction of schools or the short-term damage from the restriction of other branches of the economy."
For many young people, the school ministries' adherence to face-to-face teaching is not well received by everyone.
With reference to the incidence value of over 200 in Frankfurt am Main, the
the Hessian state government
in a statement of "sometimes gross negligence" and called for immediate "establishment of a system between face-to-face teaching and digitally supported distance teaching".
Young people from several schools in Frankfurt want to emphasize their demands for comprehensive hybrid teaching with a school strike on Monday.
district school councilors are
in a statement that is available to SPIEGEL for the "immediate changeover of everyday school life to hybrid schooling."
The requirements of the authorities correctly stipulated that a maximum of two households may meet privately, write the students: "At school, however, we meet hundreds and, thanks to the course system, we often sit together with other classmates." The actually safe and calm atmosphere The learning within the classroom is thereby enormously impaired - and therefore also reduces the learning success.
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