Berlin (dpa) – After about three months of forced Corona hiatus, many high schools in Germany will reopen from March 15th.
Similar steps are planned in Bavaria and Brandenburg. The opening has also started in Baden-Württemberg. The state governments announced this on Thursday.
The federal states do not want to continue uniformly with the planned further school openings after the primary schools. In their Thursday night deliberations, federal and state governments had determined that states could take action on their own responsibility. So said the chairman of the prime minister’s conference, the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD), early Thursday morning.
In Bavaria, all secondary schools are allowed to open from March 15 with varying classes if they are under 100 in regions with an incidence of 7 days. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) announced this. This means that two weeks before the Easter holidays in large parts of Bavaria, all pupils can go back to school, at least temporarily and in smaller groups. About 90 percent of the students should see the inside of the school again before the holidays.
After primary schools in Brandenburg, secondary schools will reopen from 15 March. Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) announced this in the state parliament. The move should involve faster tests in schools, as well as daycare centers, Woidke said. State primary schools have been running varying classes since February 22.
Baden-Württemberg will also take the next step by opening schools on March 15, as Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) told SWR. “The week after, we will take further steps to open primary schools. But further opening steps have also been taken for the fifth and sixth graders. That will be such a limited regular operation. “
In Saxony-Anhalt, school activities remain limited in most districts. At the schools in the Mansfeld-Südharz district, on the other hand, there are daily face-to-face lessons with full classes for everyone from Monday.
Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) said, “Classroom education should be gradually expanded over all years with care and caution, taking into account the current contamination rate.” She told the editorial network Germany (RND) that there was a need for varied lessons with only half a class at each school and distance rules.
According to the federal state resolution, states must provide tests: the staff in the schools and all students must be offered at least one free quick test per week of participation. During these tests, cotton swabs are inserted deep into the throat and nose by trained personnel.
In a study of corona outbreaks in schools, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) found that half of the outbreaks in the period studied were limited to the affected year or class.
The risk of being involved in an outbreak was lowest in children up to the age of ten. The risk of illness is also likely to be higher for those affected by high schools – at least according to a study cited by the RKI – than for schools with younger people. According to the RKI study, the risk of outbreaks is mainly put by teachers. This is the presumed primary case in about half of outbreaks in 6-10 year olds.
Karliczek wants to take care of students who have fallen behind in learning due to school locking. “Children with greater learning disabilities need more support,” she said in the Bundestag. First of all, it must be determined how big the problem is. “Then we can take action with the KMK.” The KMK is the conference of the Ministers of Culture of the federal states, the consultation round of the ministers responsible for education. Karliczek had already told the “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday) that an action plan against learning disadvantages was necessary.
In the Bundestag, Karliczek admitted that the pandemic had “mercilessly” exposed the weaknesses of the education system. But after digitization in schools, which has been criticized as slow in recent years, the money from the digital pact is now coming to schools. “There is a spirit of optimism everywhere.” Laptops for students and teachers and IT administrators would be funded by the federal government. In addition to many school children, the pandemic also demands a lot from teachers, university teachers and trainers.