After the extended school closings until mid-February, the German Teachers’ Association demands that students be able to repeat the school year voluntarily and without consequences because of the many missed lessons.
“There is a group of students who need an additional year,” said President Heinz-Peter Meidinger to the Tagesspiegel. In this case, repeating would not be rated as “staying seated” and would therefore have no effect on the rest of the school career. Depending on the school law, you may be threatened with leaving a secondary school if you stay seated twice.
All ideas of automatic transfers, half an extra school year or the general renouncement of staying seated and awarding grades in the corona pandemic are “just doctoring around with symptoms”. All pupils with learning difficulties should be offered an offer nationwide “To repeat the school year voluntarily”said Meidinger.
Otherwise these students would fail by the final exams or the Abitur at the latest. “The pupil then leaves school with fewer tools – and has poorer chances in further life.” So far, politicians have always said, “It is not that bad with the learning deficits.”
But that is wrong, the situation is misunderstood. But because of the cumulative loss of lessons and problems, for example in socially disadvantaged families with independent learning, many students threatened to be left behind. In a repetition year, the students could specifically catch up on learning material and be encouraged. Meidinger accused Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister of having no plan here.
“The school year cannot be managed like this“
“We miss an overall policy concept that looks to the next school year and the school year after that.” “We need an honest study of the learning progress.” It also needs honesty and clarity for the students: “It is better to take the pressure off now, to say that the school year is not manageable, you need and will have more time.”
On Tuesday it was agreed at the latest Corona summit, that schools and daycare centers should “generally” remain closed until February 14th. In Berlin, too, the requirement to be present remains suspended “until further notice”, and the Senate will not make a new decision until February 9.
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For daycare centers, the emergency operation for parents with “systemically relevant” professions still applies. School closings could also last longer, depending on how the spread of the virus mutation B117 develops. And Merkel wants schools to be gradually opened only from a value of 50 nine infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days – Berlin is a long way from that.
IW boss: Many students are completely left behind
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. The primary schools should have been reopened on February 1st and alternating lessons should have been introduced for the secondary schools. “
What will happen to the Abi exams in Berlin?
Already had in summer the Senate announces different rules for the high school graduation class 2021. This includes a significantly reduced number of exams and the possibility of providing replacement services if writing in person is not possible. It is still unclear whether the Abitur exams will be postponed. “We have the special burdens of high school graduates in full view and are just finalizing our specific plans for corresponding exam adjustments in the Standing Conference”, said school senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD) the daily mirror.
By the end of the week, the Senate Administration wants to provide more precise information. The Left is already demanding a postponement of at least two weeks in order to guarantee the examinees more preparation time – the first central examination date would be on April 14th.
The problem: Brandenburg would have to take part, otherwise Berlin could no longer use the joint examination tasks. The state has, however, kept its final classes in face-to-face classes despite the lockdown and, according to coalition members, has so far been little open to a postponement. “I demand solidarity from Brandenburg so that we can agree on a joint postponement,” said Regina Kittler, education policy spokeswoman for the Left, the Tagesspiegel.