According to the current plans of the state ministers of education, the final exams at schools and vocational schools should also take place as planned in this Corona school year. In addition, all qualifications in the federal states should be mutually recognized and classified as equivalent to those of other years. The ministers agreed on this in a switching conference on Thursday.
The common Abitur task pool should also be used for this, “unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary”.
The federal states also promise to ensure that secondary school leaving qualifications, such as secondary school and secondary school leaving certificates, can be obtained. Restricting it says here: “depending on the infection rate” and “while maintaining the regular standards and observing the country’s own regulations”. Regarding professional qualifications, it says: “At vocational schools, examinations are to be carried out as far as the infection process permits.”
Overall, the ministers agree that exams can also take place in closed schools, “provided there are no conflicting state regulations”. Exams were also held in closed schools last spring. In exceptional cases, oral exams should also be possible this time via video.
The German Teachers’ Association had repeatedly demanded that pupils with learning difficulties should be offered a voluntary repetition of the school year without evaluating this as “staying seated”. In the KMK agreement it is now said that the federal states could give schoolchildren the opportunity to repeat the school year without this being counted towards the length of stay – “especially in the upper secondary school”.
The voluntary repetition of a school year is already possible today. In some places, however, it is rated as “staying seated”. This means that a student may have to leave school if he repeats voluntarily and his performance at the end of the repeat year is insufficient for a transfer.
The federal states are responsible for school policy themselves and ultimately decide independently how they should proceed in the pandemic.
More than 20,000 new infections, but the incidence is falling
The Robert Koch Institute reports 1,013 new deaths. This increases the number of people who have died after being infected to 49,783.
The seven-day incidence, i.e. the number of new infections reported to the health authorities per 100,000 inhabitants per week, had fallen continuously over the past ten days. It had reached its previous high shortly before Christmas (December 22nd) with 197.6. However, the differences between the federal states are great: Thuringia has the highest incidences with 225.0 and Brandenburg with 203.3. Bremen has the lowest value with 76.6.
NRW imposes vaccination ban in clinics
The reason for this are delivery problems, according to an email from the Ministry of Health.
The 53 vaccination centers in the state will only start operating on February 8th – a week later than previously planned, said a spokesman for the NRW Ministry of Health.
Heil: Do not confuse the current regulation with the “right to work from home”
Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil has presented the new Corona rules with regard to home office and other regulations in the workplace. Heil said that in order to prevent the spread of the more dangerous virus variants and thus a complete lockdown that would be detrimental to the economy, it was also important to act “quickly and preventively” with regard to occupational safety.
The world of work must also make its contribution to combating the pandemic.
In the explanations to the regulation, his ministry speaks of a “duty” to offer home offices “as far as this is possible according to operational conditions”. Heil warned employers against arbitrarily canceling the option to work from home and announced controls. “
The y have to say clearly where it is possible – and also where it is not possible. Where it is possible, they should make it possible, and if in doubt, this is also checked by the occupational safety and health authorities.”
The regulation does not focus on sanctions against employers. In an emergency, however, known means would be available as punitive measures to sanction violations of occupational safety measures, which would presumably be considered administrative offenses. No one could be forced to work in the home office with this requirement, Heil also said.
The associated ordinance states that employers must offer employees in the case of office work or comparable activities to carry out these activities in their home if there are no compelling operational reasons to prevent this.
The re are studies with different statements on how widespread home work is currently. However, it is becoming apparent in other countries that having to work from home can go a long way towards stopping the spread of the virus. In Germany, however, there is still “room for improvement”.
The “Corona-Arbeitsschutzverordnung” also provides for a limitation of the number of employees in closed rooms and a requirement for employers to provide “medical face masks”, “FFP2 masks” or “comparable respiratory protection masks” if it is not possible to maintain distances .
Drosten: Nip more contagious mutants in the bud
The virologist Christian Drosten assumes that the more contagious Corona variant, which was first discovered in Great Britain, has so far been less widespread in Germany. He now sees a time window to nip the spread in this country in the bud, said the expert from the Berlin Charité on Tuesday in the podcast “Coronavirus Update” at NDR-Info. “We have to do something now if we want to influence the germination of the mutant in Germany. You can’t do it well later, then it’s too late.” In the UK, lockdown measures have already shown effects.
Based on the data now available, the virologist can assume that the variant is actually more contagious than previous forms. “We have the results on the table. We are dealing with a mutant that is spreading faster.
The quantitative extent, that really has to be discussed again.” According to Drosten, the variant is a smaller percentage more contagious than initially assumed – at the beginning there was talk of 50 to 70 percent compared to previous forms.
After a strong spread of certain Corona variants was recently observed abroad, there is now an increasing search for them in Germany. But this does not apply to every sample. Drosten assumes that cases have been introduced over the Christmas period. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), variant B.1.1.7 discovered in Great Britain has so far been detected in 20 cases in six federal states. Drosten said that data was still being collected and that more could be said about the situation in this country in the coming weeks. According to his estimate, the mutant makes up about one percent or less of the cases in Germany.
In general, Drosten emphasized that virus mutations are normal and are not necessarily associated with relevant changes in properties. Of course, he also does not know all Corona variants. Regarding the slight decrease in the number of corona infections in Germany, the virologist said that the trend was probably “slowly real” and no longer distorted by the holidays.
The number of cases could not only grow exponentially, but could also decrease exponentially through containment measures, affirmed Drosten.