Prior to a planned conference of the education ministers on Monday, the federal states largely agreed in a telephone conference on Sunday on a step-by-step plan for opening schools. The proposed resolution has been submitted to NewsABC.net.
The relevant criterion for returning to face-to-face teaching are the incidence values in the respective federal states, although exact figures are not given. In general, however, there is at least a recognized upper limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in one week before health authorities can no longer guarantee contact tracking.
If the incidence values are low enough in each case, the face-to-face teaching can be rolled out again in three stages at the wishes of the ministers of education. In the first stage, students in the first to sixth grades should be allowed back into the classroom. From level two, pupils from the seventh grade of general or secondary schools should take part in hybrid lessons. Only half of the class should take part in face-to-face classes and take turns with the other half.
In the third stage, pupils of all grades are finally allowed into the classrooms. However, pupils in final classes are an exception to the level model. For them, the “participation in face-to-face teaching is to be guaranteed in order to be able to adequately accompany the preparations for the exams,” says the proposed resolution. Tomorrow at the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, the decision is to be made.
In the proposal, the ministers of education emphasize that the opening of schools is “of the utmost importance” because the suspended presence requirement is not without negative consequences “for the educational biographies and social participation of children and young people”.
Should the step-by-step plan be adopted, it is still questionable whether it will then come into force and, above all, to which incidence values the opening steps are linked. The Prime Ministers of the federal states will also meet on Monday and on Tuesday together with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). On both days, the main focus will be on extending the lockdown. Participants say that the heads of government are very divided about when schools and daycare centers can be reopened regularly. Behind the scenes there is mainly a dispute about specific criteria. Because this cannot be solved, there will probably not be any clear limit values in the end, it said on Sunday. So the countries will possibly go different ways.