BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The German Teachers’ Association is calling for children and young people with learning difficulties to be offered to voluntarily repeat the school year because of the corona pandemic – without them being considered to be “sedentary”. “There is a group of students who need an additional year,” said President Heinz-Peter Meidinger to the “Tagesspiegel” (Thursday). Otherwise, these young people would fail at the latest in the final exams or in the Abitur.
“The student then leaves school with fewer tools – and has poorer chances in further life,” warned Meidinger. In a repetition year, students could specifically catch up on learning material and be encouraged. Automatic transfers, half an extra school year or a general waiver of staying seated and grades are “just a doctor of symptoms”.
The voluntary repetition of a school year is already possible today. In some places, however, this is considered a repetition due to failure to transfer. This means that a young person may have to leave school if he voluntarily repeats a class and is then not transferred.
The federal and state governments agreed on Tuesday to extend the corona lockdown, which was initially limited to the end of January, until mid-February. The main reason is concerns about new, more contagious virus variants. There should be no face-to-face teaching in schools. In individual countries, however, there are considerations of returning to face-to-face operations earlier, at least in primary schools.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is giving a press conference this Thursday, which will again be about the fight against the corona pandemic. In the evening she will then take part in a video summit of the EU heads of state and government. The focus is on accelerating corona vaccinations in Europe. In addition, the 27 states want to find ways to slow down the new variants of the corona virus.
In Germany, the latest lockdown resolutions are causing heated discussions – especially the plan to keep schools and daycare centers closed. If the federal states implement the agreed plans, most children and young people will soon not have seen the inside of the school or daycare center for eight weeks at a time.
The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) warned of massive disadvantages, especially for graduates: “The lockdown and school closings hit those young people particularly hard who want to start an apprenticeship this summer after school,” said DGB Vice Elke Hannack to the newspapers of the Funke -Media group. “There is a great danger that young people with a middle school leaving certificate or secondary school leaving certificate will become the losers of the Corona crisis.”
Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) called for additional offers for disadvantaged students. She pointed out that some federal states had already made recommendations in their certificates after the previous school year to take part in so-called summer schools. “I offered the countries that we could run such programs again during the holidays,” Karliczek told the editorial network Germany (RND).
The head of the Institute for the German Economy, Michael Hüther, warned of an educational disaster. “Germany depends on the children from educationally disadvantaged households, the weeks of distance learning further exacerbate the social differences,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. “School openings are above all a question of justice. Primary schools should have been reopened on February 1st and alternating lessons should have been introduced for secondary schools.”
The German Association of Philologists calls for positions for “digital helpers” in schools. “These” digital helpers “are supposed to support the teachers with the implementation of online lessons as well as help with the integration of digital media into the lessons”, said association chairwoman Susanne Lin-Klitzing the Funke-Zeitung. There are similar positions at universities. / Wn / DP / stk