Germany: Teachers call new emergency brake rules for schools “gross negligence”

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Changes to the law on infection imply the introduction of strict quarantines for regions in which the incidence rate exceeds 100. However, schools should switch to distance learning only after the border of 200 is exceeded. The teachers’ association criticized this clause of the law.

“No one working in the education sector understands why schools can suddenly offer face-to-face classes before reaching a regional rate of 200,” says Michael Schwagerl, chairman of the Bavarian Philological Society Association (bpv). He opposes the proposal to be implemented in Bavaria. At the moment, in the federal state, schools must switch to distance learning if the incidence rate exceeds the alarming border of 100.

Recall that in accordance with the draft of the federal cabinet of ministers, schools must stop full-time education if the incidence rate exceeded 200 within three consecutive days. Exceptions are only possible for graduation classes and schools for special children. This border is also the point at which kindergartens should be closed. Federal states may, however, set up groups to provide emergency services to children. If the project is approved by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, an emergency brake for schools when the border reaches 200 per 100,000 inhabitants, could take effect across Germany at the end of April.

“If radical restrictions on public and private life are imposed in the region in order to reduce contacts, then it would be gross negligence to close schools only when the coefficient reaches 200,” said Pankraz Mannlein, state chairman of the vocational school teachers’ association. (VLB).

The German Realschullehrerverband (VDR) is also calling for an alarming boundary for lower-level school closings. “We need not only a well-structured testing and vaccination strategy, but also clear rules for face-to-face training in shifts above 50 and distance learning for rates above 100,” said Association Chairman Jürgen Boehm.

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