Berlin (dpa) – With a view to the coming school year, politicians from various parties have spoken out in favor of maintaining corona protective measures and vaccinations to prevent school closures again.
The Director of Education of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Andreas Schleicher, warned against sending schoolchildren back to so-called homeschooling.
By the next school year, schools should be technically improved so that classes can continue undisturbed even in a difficult infection situation, Schleicher, who is also responsible for the international comparison of school performance in Pisa, said in MDR’s “Interview of the Week” current. “These school closures just shouldn’t be repeated.”
A large number of young people have “completely lost their minds” during the crisis, notes the education expert. The pandemic has again significantly increased social disadvantage. Schleicher campaigned to provide targeted support to younger children and children from ‘socially disadvantaged classes’.
Six federal states in the summer holidays
Six states are now on summer vacation. Most others will follow by the end of the month. At the beginning of August, the new school year starts again in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Federal Minister of Family and Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) spoke out in favor of maintaining the mask requirement in schools. Several countries have already announced this, at least for the first weeks of the new school year, to restrict broadcasts of people returning from school. Lambrecht told the “Welt am Sonntag” that wearing masks in classrooms for hours on end was very stressful, but still necessary to ensure safe school activities.
Schäuble for youth vaccinations
Bundestag chairman Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) warned in «Bild am Sonntag» about new school closures and spoke out against vaccinating young people if they wanted to. “If we can vaccinate 12- to 17-year-olds that we restrict in school activities, that’s a strong argument,” said Schäuble. He also advocated wearing masks indoors before running the risk of closing schools again.
Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) told Funke media group papers that the Permanent Vaccination Commission had not yet issued vaccination recommendations for children and adolescents. “However, I assume that in a situation where the delta variant is spreading more and more among children and young people, I will continuously review the recommendations and adjust if necessary.” Hans also argued in favor of continuing regular tests in schools.
SPD demands: protect young people more
SPD leader Saskia Esken warned of the long-term consequences of Covid for young people and called for better protection of children and young people. “We must stop wasting time in the mistaken belief that children and young people are not at risk,” she told the Funke media group newspapers. She called for consideration of “the predominantly vaccinated elderly” and was critical of major events. Tests for returnees and for those not vaccinated in factories should be enforced, Esken said.
Green party leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt criticized the federal government: “We are announcing a second Corona fall, and again the federal government is doing far too little to secure daycare centers and schools. Children, adolescents and their families are in danger of being forgotten again,” she told Funke newspapers. She called for “a summit now for daycare and school so that this failed schedule does not repeat itself”.
Education Minister Karliczek optimistic
Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek was optimistic about the new school year. She is “convinced that schools can in principle remain open this autumn”. “After the holidays, we now have a completely different starting position. We have a rising vaccination rate, a good testing structure,” said the CDU politician of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Saturday).