What kind of school do you teach

School in the pandemic : Why face-to-face teaching is wrong as the ultimate goal

It hasn't been a big upset for a long time. That this country regularly scores poorly in the Pisa educational studies has been learned for two decades and is widely accepted. The former shock has long since become permanent paralysis. If the catchphrase “digitization” is added, nobody expects top performance any more.

No wonder, then, that the report “Pisa special evaluation shows: Young people in Germany feel poorly informed digitally” did not make any big headlines on Tuesday. Especially since the evaluated data comes from 2018 - from pre-pandemic times, when the constant supply of chalk was much more important than the broadband expansion in many schools.

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Practical: the teachers had at least enough of them to eat. For almost 14 months they have been teaching under the most difficult conditions, sometimes having to convey the material completely digitally, sometimes half and half, sometimes with and sometimes without a test, sometimes with a vaccination appointment, sometimes without. You will receive the relevant information on Friday afternoon, please implement it on Monday at eight o'clock sharp! If the learning room works.

Frontal teaching will continue to be considered "normal" in the future

Whereby: At least the digital learning platform of the Berlin Senate has been running reasonably stable since the beginning of the year (Lockdown II, pandemic month 11). You could interpret a little bit of digitization there. However, nobody believes that this platform will still be used when it is no longer formally necessary. So when the schools can hopefully return to normal operations in a few weeks, at the latest after the summer holidays.

But this is where the real problem lies. Because "normal" will continue to mean even after more than a year of a state of emergency: frontal, live and with a lot of chalk. Would the Pisa data from the forced digital pandemic year 2020 look better? Hardly likely. There was no digital revolution in schools during the crisis - and that also means that it will not work in the near future.

The return to face-to-face teaching is the primary goal

In many places there are innovative concepts, great projects and fantastically functioning digital lessons - but it all depends on the commitment of individual school principals. Elsewhere, parents spend hours printing poorly scanned worksheets for their children. There has been no real rethinking in education policy, there will not be.

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Rather, this time is perceived as lost time for children and young people rather than as an opportunity for another type of education. Once again you missed the boat - no current Pisa data is required for this finding.

The return to face-to-face teaching is the top priority at the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. This is one of the reasons why the legend of schools as the “safest places” has long been spread politically (Senator for Education Scheeres, November 2020). It was not until March that the Berlin education administration came up with the idea of ​​simply placing routers in the classrooms to compensate for the broadband expansion that had been delayed for years (it will take about four years). And astonished teachers asked: If it is that simple - why only now?

Two billion catch-up aid for children and young people

Incidentally, Franziska Giffey, who will present the Corona catch-up aid for children and young people on Wednesday, also has to ask herself this question. Two billion euros are to be invested to cushion the social consequences of the pandemic - for example by promoting school social work and language training at daycare centers in hot spots.

Sounds good, however: The example of the digital pact for schools shows that a lot of money alone doesn't help much. From the 6.5 billion program decided two years ago, only around 500 million euros had been called up by the end of the year, while only eleven percent of the money flowed into Berlin. The excessive bureaucracy in the applications increased in the capital of the lack of jurisdiction in the wrangling between federal, state and districts.

The chalk producers are already looking forward to it.

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