In front of the elementary school on Regina-Ullmann-Straße, parents and their children stand in a row, with a distance of course and with FFP-2 masks on their faces. The class teacher of 1a gives them teaching material for the upcoming start this Monday. Your colleague has moved the tables and chairs in the 1d classroom before the weekend.
The re are ten tables there now, far apart. After six weeks of distance learning, the two class teachers welcome their students back to the school building. Not all of them at once, however.
The prerequisite is that the local seven-day incidence is less than 100; the number indicates how many new corona infections were reported to the authorities within a week per 100,000 inhabitants. And there is one more condition: the students must keep a minimum distance of one and a half meters in the classroom. In Munich, only half of primary school students will be able to enter their school building. Often the rooms are too small for the whole class to teach there and for the minimum distance to be maintained.
In the elementary school on Regina-Ullmann-Straße, they divided the students into two groups, explains Rector Norbert Rinck. Group A stays at home this Monday, Group B goes to school. And so it changes day by day. “For the day at home, the students get a large homework package to practice and deepen the content,” says Rinck. He sees alternating lessons as a step forward compared to distance learning. “No matter how carefully the distance lessons are planned, it’s crap,” says Rinck. “Lessons are about relationships.”
His colleague and vice-principal Raphael Schmidt talks about the video conference with his students on Friday morning. His third graders would have been happy that school finally started again on Monday. “It is important for children to see other children too.”
The second graders would have forgotten how to read because the process was not yet completed. And the fourth graders are about to transfer.
The y should be enough because the teachers can keep their distance. He strongly contradicts this. “Lessons in primary school thrive on direct pedagogical encounters. Learning together requires closeness to one another.” Teachers would have to sit down next to their pupils to explain something to them and show them where the sounds of the letters are formed in the mouth. And that’s why, says Hoderlein-Rein, the teachers buy their own FFP-2 masks.
The opening of schools has two sides for them and their staff, says Ilona Peters, director of the Manzostraße primary school. “We are happy for the children and happy to see them again. But we are concerned about what it means to us.”
The teachers in her primary school have been to school almost every day in the past few weeks because of the emergency care of almost 100 children. Now the classrooms will be full again and the teachers will have more contacts.
The n there are not enough teacher hours left on Friday. “Organizationally and in terms of planning, this is complete madness,” says the headmistress.
In a letter to the parents, the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs warns that they should only take emergency care at school if they have no other option. Because classrooms and teachers are now needed again for face-to-face teaching.
The school principals confirm that. In the elementary school on Berg-am-Laim-Straße almost 200 children out of 540 were in emergency care, they had 21 groups. “We don’t have the staff for this large number of emergency care groups,” says headmaster Hoderlein-Rein.
The Joint Parents’ Council of Primary Schools declares that returning to schools gives the children the structure they urgently need. However, some parents received information about the days on which their children were allowed to go to school and how lessons were carried out late on.
The joint parents’ council of the municipal day care centers and day care centers in Munich sees a completely different problem: Chairman Daniel Gromotka calls for analogous rules for elementary schools and day care centers as well as day care centers. “It’s about the same children.” At the moment, however, a child who tested negative can leave the quarantine and go to school after five days.
However, this does not apply to after-school care centers and day care centers, where the quarantine phase must be adhered to until the end. And the Association Initiative Familien criticizes the fact that the secondary school students who are not attending a final class still do not know when they can go to school again.