Controversy over the Pentecost holiday: North Rhine-Westphalia would like to have some questions, in Bavaria (some) teachers question them

Dusseldorf. The people of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have a lovely late summer holiday every year – because the two southern federal states insist on the traditional Pentecost holiday. However, they are increasingly controversial there as they cut short the second half of the school year. Instead, there is now a desire in North Rhine-Westphalia to close schools for about a week around Pentecost and then start summer holidays at a later time. Since densely populated federal states should not go on vacation at the same time to completely avoid traffic jams and crowded tourist destinations, problems are to be expected at KMK.

On Pentecost, of course, peonies bloom. Photo: pxhere

School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) would like to continue the fight for the longer Pentecost holiday for North Rhine-Westphalia at the Education Ministers Conference (KMK). Jaibour said in an interview that this topic belongs to the list of basic holiday laws to be discussed between countries.

Last year, for the first time since 1966, students in North Rhine-Westphalia had a full week of Whitsun holidays because the holidays in the 2017/18 school year were so favorable that vacation days were still available. School children in North Rhine-Westphalia usually spend only the Tuesday after the Pentecost holiday – unlike the wider Pentecost holiday in the southern federal states.

“Last year, the Pentecost holiday was welcomed in many places in North Rhine-Westphalia,” said Stefan Bahlau, head of state for the Union of Teachers in Education and Training. He found that if there was a normal holiday week, the entire holiday system would have to be tested. As Gibor admitted: “Because of the long-term determination of vacation plans, there will be no quick decision.”

School holidays are fixed over the medium term

Holiday dates have already been set nationwide for the 2023/24 school year. KMK first sets the dates for the summer vacation before adjusting for the minor holidays, the ministry explained. Gibor also wants to ask why Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are the last two federal states to start summer vacation. In coming years, there will be a free Tuesday after Pentecost in NRW. In 2022, there will be no Pentecost holiday on the nationwide school holiday calendar in NRW and three other federal states.

NRW’s largest parent association, State High School Fatherhood, is open for a year extension of the Pentecost holiday. State President Juta Lochner warned that this should not be at the expense of high school graduates and teachers. After all, the Abitur exams are right between the Easter holidays and the summer holidays. Lochner warned that if central exams were added at the end of the tenth grade to the nine-year grammar school course, the time pressure would be greater due to the extra vacation days. This should be kept in mind when the federal states are on vacation. News4teachers / Articles from dpa

The dispute in Bavaria – the opposite

In Bavaria, the debate is currently taking place in the opposite direction – there, the Bavarian Teachers’ Union (BLLV) is condoning the cancellation of the Whitsun holiday. The reason: In the few weeks between Easter and Pentecost, the upcoming examinations must take place under enormous time pressures. The period between Pentecost and the summer holidays is so short that it is difficult to do meaningful work in schools. BLLV President Simone Fleischmann complains: “Teachers almost have the opportunity to impart content.”

On the other hand, the Bavarian Association of Linguists, in connection with the two-week free time that began practically yesterday, says: “Holidays are suitable for everyone.” And even then, there are still important things to do in schools.

State Director Michael Schwagerl says: “After the Pentecost holidays, there are busy weeks in the program again: homework and exams are written, concerts and theater performances are prepared, project days are planned and implemented and certificates are written. In addition, there are celebrations of Abitur in schools. High School. Pupils and teachers deserve a two-week break so they can head off to this final race refreshed. Last but not least, important Christian holidays are celebrated during this time.”

The so-called grade date is not before the Pentecost holiday at any of the high schools it knows (BLLV stated that grades were already set before Pentecost). “On the contrary: since classes are managed digitally in almost all Bavarian high schools, the deadline for joining classes has been postponed. This is especially useful for students, because the exam period has been adjusted,” says Schwagerl. News4teachers

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