In order to contain the corona pandemic, many schoolchildren in Germany will probably have to prepare for distance learning longer than previously planned. However, there should be gradual openings for lower grades and senior grades. The culture ministers of the federal states decided on Monday in a switching conference, as the Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) announced in Berlin.
This confirms a report by NewsABC.net on Sunday, according to which the majority of the federal states are in favor of gradually opening schools quickly. The school lockdown was originally agreed by the federal and state governments in mid-December as part of the shutdown of all public life by the end of this week.
Due to the still high incidence values and the uncertain assessment of the infection occurrence after the holidays, according to the decision, “the measures decided in December in Germany or in individual countries may have to be continued”.
The resumption of school operations is possible in stages – “should the situation in the individual countries permit”. First, the pupils in grades 1 to 6 should have face-to-face lessons again and the other grades should stay in distance learning. By halving the classes, in a second stage, alternating lessons should be made possible for pupils from higher grades.
Classroom lessons for all pupils in general and vocational schools should therefore only be given in level three. However, an exception to the restrictions should still apply to graduating classes so that they can prepare adequately for exams.
As it was said from circles of the ministers of education, this resolution should make it possible for countries to open their schools for grades 1 to 6, 10 and 12 in the coming week. In their resolution, the ministers of education emphasized that the opening of schools was of the highest importance. “If the measures decided in December 2020 are relaxed, the schools must be there from the start.”
However, the video conference of the ministers of education was primarily intended to prepare for renewed consultations between the heads of government of the federal states and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) this Tuesday. Individual countries had pushed ahead with their own, sometimes stricter, announcements for schools.
Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Education, Susanne Eisenmann (CDU), welcomed the decision in a communication. “Face-to-face teaching is and remains the best option for learning success. I hope that the Prime Minister’s Conference and the Federal Chancellor will also take this into account when making the upcoming decision. ”In the run-up to the KMK meeting, she called for kindergartens and primary schools to reopen from January 11th. “Especially with smaller children in primary school, digital lessons are very difficult or even impossible,” she said.
The Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) told SWR Aktuell that distance learning at schools in Rhineland-Palatinate should definitely continue until January 15th. “We hope that we can then go back to school bit by bit.” That too, however, depends on the Corona numbers. Alternating lessons are possible. It is important that the graduating classes can take their exams.
In Hamburg, due to the numerous new corona infections, many students are expected to study at home until the end of January. The Senate of the Hanseatic City had suspended the compulsory attendance for a further week and did not rule out the fact that there will be no regular classroom lessons in the last two weeks of January.
dpa / lp