Education in the corona crisis: Berlin is planning rapid tests at all schools – SPD wants to postpone Abi – Berlin


In view of the continuing high level of infection, there should now be more security through rapid tests in Berlin schools. Education Senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD) said this to the Tagesspiegel on Wednesday.

“After we set up test centers for service staff many weeks ago and now mobile test teams are also in use at daycare centers and schools, we want to introduce comprehensive rapid tests for school staff and pupils as soon as possible,” announced the Senator for Education.

The Senate Department for Education is in discussion with the Senate Department for Health. “Several providers have already been looked at, a concept is now to be drawn up,” said Scheeres. All groups of employees would benefit from the test, including social workers and educators.

The call for rapid tests for schoolchildren and employees had recently been loud when Scheeres announced that he wanted to open schools quickly. Several schools had written fire letters to prevent this. Since last Monday, face-to-face classes have therefore only been held on a voluntary basis.

Parent representatives expected “interesting debate” about costs

State parent spokesman Norman Heise welcomes the option of rapid tests, but puts the cost at several million euros per week. “With perhaps sensible three quick tests per week and for all schools, we have 450,000 students, 37,000 teachers and 7,000 other employees at a test kit price of seven euros at 10,374,000 euros per week,” Heise calculated.

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Even with just one test, it was just under 3.5 million euros. With the already difficult 4.5 million euros for air purification devices, this would be “an interesting debate”. The education administration did not want to comment on this bill. Incidentally, the point in time when the comprehensive rapid tests are to start, their frequency and financing are the subject of the ongoing discussions.

The CDU parliamentary group called on Wednesday, referring to the corona management of the education administration, to dismiss the senator, but supported the demand for rapid tests “at least twice a week”. In addition, all classes would have to be equipped with air filters. So far only one or two filters per school have been financed.

SPD: Postpone Abitur exams for at least six weeks

Meanwhile the discussion about the consequences of the school closings for the final exams continues. After the senator’s rejection of the exams for the secondary school leaving certificate and for vocational qualification, the SPD state executive positioned itself for the Abitur. On Monday he voted to postpone the Abitur exams by “at least” six weeks in order to allow adequate preparation.

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This approach was not well received by school principals. It is a “crazy idea”, said the chairman of the senior study directors’ association, Ralf Treptow, the Tagesspiegel. To justify this, he pointed out that in this case the exams could no longer be completed before the summer vacation.

The education administration did not comment on the SPD initiative, but referred to outstanding discussions at the level of the ministers of education. Incidentally, the education administration is currently working on “appropriate adjustments” that will be presented in a timely manner.

Parent representative Heise called for a “sensible overall strategy” to combat the pandemic at school level. This includes that live transmissions of the lessons would be made possible from classrooms. The start of lessons and the break times would have to be equalized.

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Education corona crisis Berlin planning rapid tests schools SPD postpone Abi Berlin


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