Longer holidays “nothing but school closures”

Corona policy

Longer holidays “nothing but school closures”


When will chairs be placed in schools in federal states before Christmas?

picture: dpa

The controversy is reminiscent of last year: at the time, the longest Christmas holiday was also discussed due to Corona. Given the high number of people infected with corona, this matter is suspended again in some federal states.

Berlin. In the discussion about measures against the fourth wave of Corona, Green Party leader Robert Habeck also spoke in favor of extending the Christmas holidays. Brandenburg and Saxony were the first federal states to decide to start their holiday a few days earlier.

“I think it’s right if the Christmas holidays are introduced in countries where the infection rate is very high,” Habeck told ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. But unions and educational associations reject such a move. She said this would be nothing more than closing a school.

Recommendation from Leopoldina



In light of the situation, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has already recommended immediate blanket restrictions on contact and early Christmas weekends. The leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus, also spoke in favor of starting holidays a week or two earlier everywhere.

Christmas Eve on a Friday this year. Depending on the federal states’ holiday schedule, the last day of school falls on the previous Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Brandenburg and Saxony brought their holidays to the Friday, a week before Christmas Eve.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said in Bayerischer Rundfunk he was open to talking to everyone about it. There is currently no reason to close schools in Bavaria. Sodder’s coalition partner, the Liberal Voters, has spoken out against extending the Christmas holiday. The culture and education ministers of Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Berlin have also expressed negative views in the past few days.

a lot of rejection

The head of the German teachers’ union, Heinz-Peter Medinger, said extended holidays were not appropriate as an isolated measure to combat the pandemic. In addition, there is always a complete closure of schools. “There is no distance education either.” Even the Elementary School Association can only imagine longer vacations as “last percentage”. Board Chairman Edgar Boone said previous school closures have shown how important the facilities are in the social and emotional realm or for the movement of children. It is therefore important to make every effort to avoid school closures.”

The president of the Association for Education and Training (VBE), Udo Beckmann, said that despite all the warnings from the science, politicians have set hope again for too long instead of using all technical options to fight infection in schools. “That’s why we’ve been having the same discussions for a year.” An early or extended Christmas holiday is nothing more than school closures.

The president of the Education and Science Consortium, Mike Venern, warned of a situation like last winter: If cancellations or restrictions on group events are not enough, in individual cases it may be necessary to consider ‘schools’ for one, two weeks to send distance learning’ “But it is not permissible under any circumstances to close it for several weeks or months, as it happened last winter,” he added.

A year ago, like today, “emergency brakes” and the extended Christmas holiday were discussed due to the sharp rise in Corona numbers. Saxony, as a corona hotspot, was the first state to close its schools and daycare centers on December 14, and other states followed suit shortly afterwards after consultations with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). The lockdown was initially enforced until January 10, then was extended and later lifted in only small steps. Younger students and those facing exams were allowed to go back step by step, although some age groups sat at home until May.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211130-99-202520 / 4


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