According to a study, the Corona crisis has resulted in a greatly increased need for support among the students. The state has to dig deep into its pockets in order to catch up on the learning gaps.
Berlin (dpa) – Catching up on corona-related learning backlogs among students requires additional public funds of around 1.5 billion euros, according to calculations by the Institute of German Economy (IW), as reported by the “Rheinische Post”.
According to the report, the study by the employer-related institute assumes around 1.5 million schoolchildren for whom the crisis has created a greatly increased need for support. The authors reckon with an average need for support of around 100 hours per affected student and thus come to the billions. That is “money well spent to avoid the worsening of the inequality of educational opportunities and significantly higher follow-up costs”.
The federal and state governments have been discussing a corresponding funding program for a few weeks now: A “tuition billion” is under discussion. Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) explained in the newspapers of the Funke media group that this was the requirement for the core subjects. The SPD-led states propose to offer around one in five of the 11 million pupils additional lessons – either two hours per week over a whole school year or four hours over half a school year. According to the German Teachers’ Association, more than 500 lessons have been lost since the pandemic began.
Karliczek said: “20 to 25 percent of the students are likely to have great learning deficits – perhaps even dramatic ones.” If possible, as early as the summer holidays, at the latest by the new school year, appropriate funding opportunities would be provided for German, mathematics and possibly the first foreign language. The target group is above all schoolchildren who are about to switch – either to a secondary school or to an apprenticeship. The respective need must be “determined beforehand in a learning status survey”.
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