Teachers in training wait months for BAföG: Gebauer recommends Hartz IV

Dusseldorf. If you have been waiting for a long time to get BAföG support, go to the Job Center – this advice from the School Minister to prospective teachers at NRW has caused inconvenience. The Ministry regrets and admits that the situation is unacceptable.

School Secretary Yvonne Gebauer advises prospective teachers waiting for student loans to apply for ALG II benefits. Photo: North Rhine-Westphalia

Prospective teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia have to wait months to support BAföG benefits. This stems from the Ministry of Education’s response to a small request from the SPD’s parliamentary group. The School Secretary, Yvonne Gebauer (FDP), also responded: “For a transitional period, there is the possibility of a major application for ALG II benefits at the relevant duty station.” The Social Democratic Party dismayed.

In light of the shortage of skilled workers, the red carpet should open up to potential teachers, a family policy spokesman for the opposition faction, Dennis Milzer, warned on Tuesday. “Instead, black and yellow pave the way for them to reach the center of the action. Nothing but appreciation.” Prospective teachers receive no remuneration during their school training.

The Ministry of Education’s answer shows that the average waiting time in the 2021/202 school year was 128 days – in 2017/2018 it was 78 days. The county government of Cologne examines BAföG applications for the entire NRW on its own and determines the benefits. The number of applications increased from 550 (2017/18) to 2,843 (2021/22) in the academic year 2021/22. The goal is to support the beneficiaries financially through contributions to living expenses and course costs.

“The work of teachers is important, valuable and openly appreciated by the state government.”

The ministry stressed in a statement that the long waiting times for the so-called ascent of BAföG are unacceptable. Backlog requests should be cleared immediately. To this end, “every effort has already been made to improve the situation on the ground.” It was decided to take the first concrete measures to speed up the process. “The work of teachers is important, valuable and openly appreciated by the state government,” she said in Düsseldorf.

Training capabilities have increased significantly in recent years. There are currently approximately 21,500 students in teacher training, a good increase of 2,100 from 2017. In North Rhine-Westphalia, about 60 percent of students are currently undergoing full-time teacher training – and most apply for a BAföG. The other 40 percent are in a training phase combined with practice and therefore paid. The fact of the huge increase in the number of applications and approvals is due to the legal improvements made by the federal government since March 2020.

Maelzer complained that the state government was unable to ensure smooth organization in the administration upon approval of the BAföG. The SPD politician demanded that teacher training should always be compensated. If Gebauer now recommends applying for a Hartz IV, it will have dire consequences. Specialists in NRW are in great demand for many years.

Verdi’s union described Gebauer’s reference to the Neue Westfälische action center as a “slap in the face” to those affected and the entire industry. In any case, teacher training is not attractive and the dropout rate is very high. The Ministry of Education explained: “We regret that the answer to the small query gave a misleading and wrong impression. In the current extremely difficult situation for those affected, the state government wanted to provide a financial bridge so that the processing time could go down again. » News4teachers / Articles from dpa

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