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Can the school year still be saved ?: “No improvement by Pentecost” - Berlin

Teachers’ Association expects no improvement: “At least half of schools have returned to distance learning” – Berlin

Not only in Berlin, students, parents and teachers will be brainstorming on how to save this school year. Schools across Germany are now threatened with reopening, depending on whether the seven-day event has 165 or fewer.

“At least schools have the opportunity to go to distance education,” said Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the German Teachers’ Association, Takespegel. “These are definitely dangerous opportunities. If you do not think the emergency brake will work very quickly, there will be no improvement until Pentecost, but rather worse. It’s frustrating and depressing.”

At the same time, the president of the Teachers’ Union knows that there is no other solution at this time. The balance between health care and education mandate has always been a tight grip for teachers. Meadinger would have preferred an extra way and different tools instead of rigorous event specifications. The value of 165 is also “too high”. “You might be a little more flexible if all students are tested daily and teachers are often vaccinated.”

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Meidinger accuses politicians of being “greatly backward – in fact, this is all the time”. If the slogan “school first” had been taken seriously, there must have been a real lock in his mind before this. “You should have done everything to push the numbers down.”

Heinz-Peter Meidinger, federal president of the German Philologists Association (archive from 2016)Photo: dpa / Gregor Fischer

There are still issues in other construction modules for health care. “It is dangerous that we have only started vaccinating teachers in a few federal states,” Meiddinger says.

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Middinger considers the discussion of room air filters in schools with mixed feelings. “Room air filters are definitely an additional safety factor, especially in areas where ventilation is not possible. However, even experts have differing opinions on its effectiveness. If so, they are only a small additional component.”

On the other hand, the Teachers Association has always spoken out in favor of a qualified mask requirement, i.e. the wearing of medical masks in schools, which is not currently applicable everywhere.

This will affect younger students

Of particular concern about the current situation is that the epidemic is again affecting the younger and more vulnerable. Alumni, especially in grammar school and high school, have often come to distance education, where the situation is much worse for first-graders looking forward to school and requiring very urgent contact with teachers and other children.

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According to Meadinger, parents’ understanding of the current situation is also low. “We are very diverse, but at the same time contradictory. There are a lot of opinions from parents who care about their families’ health, so they understand the situation.

To identify key learning gaps, it is important to take part now. We need it soon – before the summer holidays, ”Meidinger told Takespeekal. In addition, concrete plans are needed to determine what financial measures will be available next year within the framework of additional budgets of the federal and state governments.