Learning deficits due to the corona pandemic: One billion euros for tuition


Status: 03/27/2021 8:00 a.m.

Education Minister Karliczek wants to spend one billion euros on a tutoring program to support students with learning difficulties in the corona pandemic. Because up to a quarter of the students would have great learning deficits.

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” 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,” said the minister.

Funding offers for the new school year

Karliczek gave further 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, math and possibly 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. 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.

The SPD-led states propose to offer around one in five of the 11 million students 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.

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.”

Increased special needs for 1.5 million children

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 an IW study as saying that around 1.5 million school children, mainly from households with little education, had a greatly increased need for support.

“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”.

Comparative work in all years

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 study continues, according to the “Rheinischer Post”. “In addition to these offers, systematic learning offers should also be developed for the holidays.”

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Learning deficits due corona pandemic billion euros tuition


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