Weeks and months passed for hundreds of thousands of students without classroom instruction. Education Minister Karliczek now wants to support with a tutoring program – and announces enormous expenses.
Education Minister Anja Karliczek wants to spend one billion euros on a nationwide tutoring program so that schoolchildren do not lose touch with the corona pandemic. The CDU politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group (weekend editions) that there should be surveys of learning levels in the core subjects at the end of this school year in all federal states. “20 to 25 percent of the students probably have a long learning curve – perhaps even a dramatic one,” said Karliczek.
“If we set up a tutoring program for the core subjects, we need around one billion euros,” the minister said. She gave further specific details of the planned federal-state program: By the new school year at the latest, additional support offers would be made available, which should relate to core subjects such as German, maths and possibly also the first foreign language. The target group of the program are primarily schoolchildren who are about to switch – either to a secondary school or to an apprenticeship.
Assessment of learning status necessary
The respective need “must be determined beforehand in a study of the level of learning,” explained Karliczek. There should be initial offers as early as the summer holidays. For the program, the Federal Education Minister wants to fall back on existing structures in the federal states: “For example, student teachers, retired teachers, educational foundations and, of course, private tutoring providers could be involved.”
The Cologne Institute of the German Economy (IW), which is close to the employer, is also in favor of government investments worth billions in order to compensate for the learning gap caused by the corona pandemic. The “Rheinische Post” quoted on Saturday from an IW study that there was around 1.5 million schoolchildren, especially from households with little education. “To support this group of people with an average time of 100 hours per person, costs of around 1.5 billion euros would be expected.”
It would be “money well spent” with which the “worsening inequality of educational opportunities and significantly higher follow-up costs” could be avoided, according to the study. The federal and state governments should invest massively in the expansion of funding programs “in the coming months”.
Teachers rate backlog highly
According to the newspaper, the institute relies on a current survey of teachers as part of the German School Barometer. Accordingly, in December, 38 percent of all teachers were of the opinion that the school closings would result in learning delays for more than half of all students. This is particularly striking for younger people and children with a migration background.
According to the report, the IW also spoke out in favor of having comparative work written at all schools and in all grades “in order to systematically determine the extent of the learning loss”. On this basis, “post-qualification programs” could then be developed. These could consist of additional support through teaching materials or additional remedial lessons in the afternoon or on Saturdays.
“Mentoring programs could also play a role here,” the newspaper said in the study. “In addition to these offers, systematic learning offers should also be developed for the holidays.”