Two years of Corona: VBE and linguists finally call on education ministers to make schools crisis-resistant

Berlin. These days mark the second anniversary of school closures nationwide due to Corona. “Our teachers have done more than an excellent job,” said Susanne Lin Klitzing, president of the German Association of Linguists, “safely and in good health, on their educational qualifications.” But as far as politics is concerned, its balance sheet is critically important (“conversion at risk”). The Association for Education and Training (VBE) also sees a clear need for improvement in terms of how education ministers have dealt with the crisis – it has provided a list of demands that must do better in the future.

Aside from closing schools – here’s a picture from May 2020 – and windows open, education ministers can think of little to protect the health of students and teachers. Photo: Shutterstock / franconiaphoto

“What children, young people, and their teachers need is a flexible school system with enough teaching staff to meet students’ educational interests as well as enough staff to teach and support,” says Susan Lynn Klitzing, Head of Philology.

In her view, this is not what the school system is like: “We need less bureaucracy and better educational funding, which results from good cooperation between the federal government, state and local governments. We need to fund education planning and education that ensures health protection for everyone involved in schools, striving for climate neutrality in school construction and finally eliminating the backlog of investment to renovate dilapidated school buildings. Planning for long-term financing and legally secure implementation of sensible, data-protection-compliant digital support for school management and education is still pending.”

“Schools should be in a better protective position so that everyone involved does not reach the point of stress on a regular basis.”

Lyn Klitzing asserts: “The testimony of the Minister of Education says ‘a diversion is in danger.’” She anticipates in the future better forward-looking planning and implementation of a crisis-resistant school system. “The political mission remains: Schools should be in a better preventive position so that everyone who participates in schools does not have to regularly to the point of stress,” warns the head of the linguist.

VBE has figured out what that means in concrete terms. First of all, Federal President of VBE Udo Beckmann stated: “The pandemic has presented us with unexpected challenges that we did not have to overcome in this way before. This also applies to politicians. Perfection cannot be asked of them either when they are faced with situations that did not exist before In this context. The Minister of Health at the time, Jens Spahn, said that we have to forgive ourselves a lot. We are ready for that.”

But he also emphasizes: “We also expect politicians to do everything they can to prepare for the next wave, now that we all have had to learn from the experience we’ve had and been able to learn from. Our goal should be to learn from our mistakes. We need to get our hands on the reins. things and prepare for the next wave.”

“Persuasion of so-called ‘normality’ is used to ensure that reasonable measures of infection control are discontinued.”

The stated goal should be to act preemptively rather than reactively. This is the best precondition for never having to close schools and daycares again, Beckman added. For this purpose, VBE has provided a list of twelve Corona lessons (see below). Lynn Klitzing is skeptical of KMK’s recent decisions. “If the talk of so-called ‘normality’ in times of Corona is used to ensure that reasonable measures of protection against infection are stopped, the construction of future-oriented schools remains a priority issue and proper employment in schools cannot be ensured, then education ministers are not learning enough. !”

Twelve lessons from Corona

With the aim of creating an educational policy that makes schools safe from crises, VBE explains: “In order to help in this matter, we have summarized our expertise and experience along with 16 VBE government associations into 12 Corona lessons.” These combine our findings on how to prepare schools for the future in a way that they can better deal with similar challenges. After two years, we know what absolutely needs to be taken into account and what measures are required.”

In the formulation, VBE prompts:

  1. “Policy should make it transparent and understandable to all those involved in the schools on the basis of science who made any decisions!
  2. Politicians should take better account of the realities of life and school when making their decisions. Parent, student and teacher representatives should also be involved in consultations before measures are defined!
  3. Politicians should make transparent step-by-step plans based on national standards on measures to be taken in case of infection!
  4. Politicians should make sure that schools are given guidance from ministries with a realistic time limit!
  5. Politicians must ensure the best possible health protection in schools, when necessary also through the use of technical devices to enable face-to-face teaching!
  6. Politicians must make sure that teachers only use what they have been trained for!
  7. Politicians must recognize and protect the achievements of teachers.
  8. Politicians should recognize students’ competencies rather than focus only on cognitive performance.
  9. Politicians must provide the education system with resources on a permanent basis so that individual support is possible. They must also develop effective strategies to sustainably compensate for the cognitive, social, and emotional deficits in children and adolescents caused by the epidemic. Better staffing with teachers and multidisciplinary teams is essential for this.
  10. Politicians must ensure that the boom in digital devices is followed by real innovation in teaching and learning.
  11. Politicians must replace the constitutionally enshrined prohibition on cooperation with the community of responsibility between federal, state, and local governments in order to be able to ensure greater educational equity regardless of where students live and their socioeconomic background.
  12. Politicians must ensure that investments are made in school buildings in such a way that learning, education and up-to-date school life are possible in them at all times.”

The course of underestimating the Ministers of Education, the school maneuvers in a dead end – Corona threatens without end


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