Berlin (dpa) – Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for investment in schools and education during and after the corona pandemic.
Committed school management, great teachers and groundbreaking ideas were not enough, he said on Monday at the presentation of the German School Award 20/21 Special. “In order for schools to develop, effectively promote their students and mitigate the negative consequences of closures, they now need the support of society and politics. You also need attention, dedication and money now. “
Fighting the pandemic will increase government debt, Steinmeier said. “The money decline will come – but we shouldn’t cut back on education.”
The best school concepts developed during the corona pandemic were awarded with the German School Prize 20/21 Special from the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Heidehof Foundation in collaboration with ARD and publishing house “Zeit”. The award was presented in seven categories, such as “Promoting Education Equality”, “Implementing Digital Solutions” or “Enabling Self-Organized Learning”. The seven award-winning schools from Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia each received 10,000 euros. Eleven other schools each received a recognition prize of 5,000 euros.
“Despite all efforts, the pandemic has shaken up many schools,” said Joachim Rogall, Chairman of the Robert Bosch Foundation. “Through courage, decisiveness and creativity, these schools have become a laboratory of ideas for a sustainable school system in recent months.” This was proven by the prize winners’ concepts. “Now it is important to take advantage of this experience and give schools the freedom they need for their individual challenges, for example in the use of human resources.”
Steinmeier said he had complained before the pandemic that the success of education in this country still depends far too much on ancestry and financial capabilities. It is bitter that the performance differences in the Corona period can now widen even further. “We cannot accept that! It is a call to education policy, a call to action! A first step has been taken with the action program of the federal government. More needs to follow. “
Every effort must now be made to ensure that as many children and young people as possible can return to their class as quickly as possible and make up for the missed material. Whether it’s rapid teacher vaccinations, ventilation systems, testing strategies, digital upgrading or tutoring – there is no time to waste.