Underfunding of daycare centers: Hardly any heart for children

Good education begins in daycare. But they are often understaffed. A situation report before the lockdown – and what should happen afterwards.

Puzzling bears alone is good, puzzling with supervision is better: toddlers in daycare Foto: Ute Grabowsky/photothek/imago

When Paul, Lutz, Jule, Marie and Lenny sit at the breakfast table, it is still twilight outside. The two-year-olds, who are actually called differently, grumble on their cheese sandwiches. They seem tired, their eyes are small, none of the children is talking. Educator Marianne Walther fills her mugs with warm herbal tea, while her colleague makes Jule a second bread.

There is no sign of the nationwide shortage of staff in German day-care centers in the “Torgauer Strasse” crèche in Berlin-Hellersdorf this December morning – not yet. A few minutes later, Marianne Walther has to pick up two children at the entrance because the parents are no longer allowed to enter the building due to the pandemic.

At the same time, Paul urgently needs help from Walther’s colleague in the toilet. The two-year-olds in the group room are on their own. Fortunately, nothing happens, none of the unsupervised children choke, cry, or fall from their stools.

There is a system in relying on everything going well: nationwide in 2019 there were more than 100,000 educators who, according to calculations by the Bertelsmann Foundation, would be needed to achieve the foundation’s recommended childcare ratio of 1: 3 for children under three and a maximum of 1: 7.5 for kindergarten children.

In fact, the national average childcare ratio was 1: 4.2 for crèche children and 1: 8.9 for kindergarten children. Quarantine times, an increased level of illness and care obligations on the part of the educators have led to the situation worsening in recent months.

Concern for safety

Before the pandemic, the recommended personnel key was a guideline to create a supportive environment, but now the Hellersdorf educator Marianne Walther is simply concerned about the safety of the children. “One to two year olds actually have to be supervised continuously,” says Walther, who has been working as an educator for 37 years. But the staff is not enough for that. The 56-year-old sees no other option than to work overtime. “I can’t go home when I know that my colleague would be alone at pick-up time,” she says.

Even beyond the pick-up times, the situation in her crib before the second lockdown had come to a head. In order to be able to maintain the usual care hours, educators often jump in to neighboring groups. “The children suffer a lot from this,” says Walther. “Especially for the very young, it is difficult to get involved with a different teacher all the time.”

The staff shortage has also left its mark on the educators – and not just since the pandemic. According to an OECD survey from 2020, every third skilled worker in Germany suffers from stress because colleagues are absent; one in four is considering giving up their job for health reasons. According to a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, it is particularly hard for those affected not to be able to meet the expectations of their own work because of the lack of staff. Many educators observe in themselves that they have less empathy for the children, no longer respond to their emotional needs or appear authoritarian.

“It is an additional psychological burden when people without sufficient qualifications come to the facility,” says Kathrin Bock-Famulla, who heads the early childhood education department at the Bertelsmann Foundation. In addition, the pay is bad. Many leave day-care centers long before they retire.

For some educators, the new lockdown since December may have come just at the right time. The daycare centers in seven federal states are currently closed and only offer emergency care. In the other federal states, regular operation is restricted differently, for example by reduced childcare times or places. Parents are encouraged to look after their children at home if possible.

When is education fair?

But what could provide short-term relief for educators is now pushing families to their limits. “I am convinced that the daycare center is making every effort,” said Milena Leszkowicz when it was still open regularly. She is the mother of five year old Milo and one year old Pela. “Still, it’s really tough right now.” She works full-time in a start-up. About her dealings with jobs and children in the pandemic, she says: “You only do both things half and do not do the children justice.”

At home, Milo and Pela speak Polish and Hebrew. “It was important to me that Pela comes to daycare for her first birthday so that she can learn German there,” says her mother. “That has now been postponed” – because her daycare had to close after the first week of getting used to it.

Language promotion is only one aspect of what makes an education system fair, so that the mother tongue or social background does not decide on educational success. It is also about giving the children emotional stability if this is not available at home, or supporting them in their development when parents cannot afford it. Reading aloud is also part of it, says Katrin Gramckow, director of the Silberstein day care center in Berlin-Neukölln. But they are far from cozy reading rounds in the Neukölln Kita in December.

Daycare centers remain closed

Kindergartens are to remain closed until February 15, 2021. This emerges from a draft resolution for the corona summit that the taz has received. According to the paper, it should remain with emergency care until then. As soon as the 7-day incidence has fallen below 50, daycare centers should open again regularly, according to the draft.

Different regulations

The federal states implement the corona measures differently. Daycare centers are currently closed in seven countries; only emergency care is offered there. In the nine other countries, daycare centers are open, but with the appeal that the children – if possible – be looked after at home.

Due to the pandemic, the educators are only allowed to work in one group. Sometimes the shortage of staff is so great that children have to be looked after alternately: half of the group on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the other half on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Children who are not supported at home suffer most from these measures,” says Gramckow.

If you ask those affected what would improve their situation, Walther from Hellersdorf demands more staff. “With a good supervision ratio, a lot of dissatisfaction, psychological stress and leaving the system could be avoided,” says educational scientist Bock-Famulla. She also sees a need for professionalization in the federal and state ministries, which have failed over the years to forecast the need for staff in daycare centers.

Kita manager Gramckow thinks that more appreciation in the form of a higher salary would also help: “Education begins with looking after the children in kindergarten, so educators should earn as much as teachers”.

A lot of stress, little money

The money is not only missing to hire more staff and pay better, but also during the training: Many people who are interested in the job are likely to be deterred by the fact that there is often no remuneration for this and that sometimes even school fees have to be paid . The federal government made funds available for 2,500 remunerated training positions from the 2019/20 training year onwards with the “Educators’ Skilled Workers Offensive”. Some countries gave money for more places. The majority of the trainees remain unpaid.

In addition, the federal government is providing 5.5 billion euros for daycare centers for the years 2020 to 2022 as part of the “Gute-KiTa-Gesetz”. When using the funds, the federal government gives the federal states a great deal of freedom: federal states can choose where to invest from ten fields of activity, such as improving the supervision code, practical support for specialists or language training.

“This means that countries like Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania put the federal funds almost entirely into exemption from contributions, while the personnel key in daycare centers remains extremely poor,” says Bock-Famulla. According to the “Education and Science” union, the money is not enough anyway: instead of the 5.5 billion for four years, 10 billion are needed annually to improve working conditions and make the job more attractive.

Marianne Walther does not let her children know how many hours of overtime she has worked in the past few weeks. She smiles continuously while playing and remains patient when the sixth mug of tea spills onto the floor. “That’s not bad, everything’s fine,” she says to Paul in a soft voice and wipes up the tea.


Videos instead of lecturers (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

Lucrative business model for universities: more online teaching, fewer teachers

In Spain, the private university Universidad Europea (UE) wants to terminate 275 teachers in one fell swoop. If that happens, it would be the first mass layoff of lecturers at a Spanish university. On December 14th, UE sent a letter to its employees to inform them of the cutback plans. The institution’s managing director, Miguel Carmelo, stated that “despite the great work and commitment” of the workforce, it was essential to move forward with a “restructuring of the university’s resources”. This “austerity policy” was preceded by the takeover of the UE locations in Madrid, Valencia, Lisbon and Canary Islands by the Permira investment fund two years ago. The private equity company had spent 770 million euros on this business.

Most layoffs are said to be on the Madrid campus: 221 jobs are at stake there. 47 areas are affected in Valencia and seven areas in the Canary Islands. But there is no shortage of money. According to Huffington Post The university recorded an increase of 50 million euros in the 2018/19 academic year. The deforestation is therefore not justified with economic arguments, but as “modernization” that is supposed to do justice to the “new demands of the sector”.

The lecturers fear that the UE will now want to focus on online teaching and that classroom teaching will be neglected as a result. But individual support for students is important, for example in order to find a job after graduation, according to the professors concerned via Twitter, where they have set up an account. According to them, the university wants to increasingly rely on wealthy students from abroad who want to have a European degree.

The union Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) represents the employees in the current negotiations with the university bosses. Niurka Barrios, USO trade unionist and member of the UE works council, told the daily newspaper last Tuesday The jump the planned mass layoffs as “unfair”. She said the university wants to replace lecturers’ work with videos and online courses. In addition, the number of students per course rose from 30 to 80 due to the pandemic. The lecturers experienced an intensification of work with increasingly poor working conditions.

There is no question that the lucrative model – more online teaching and fewer teachers – could soon be used in other universities. The invention is not new and is called in the technical jargon “Hy-Flex teaching” (hybrid and flexible). In Spain, a new law will soon regulate this type of teaching. But because of the pandemic, online teaching is already a reality in all institutions in the country. With initial consequences for state universities too. The Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) announced last December that it wanted to pursue a new model that is increasingly based on digital teaching.

These plans are not only met with resistance from the lecturers. Students do not want to accept this model either. At a rally on January 18, representatives of the UE psychology course in Madrid said they had enrolled in a course that was very expensive, with fees of around 1,000 euros per month. The online teaching does not live up to the promises of the university. The UE students are angry and have made their frustration public on social networks. They talk about an “impersonal and mediocre teaching” that is offered to them online. In February, lecturers and students are therefore planning an indefinite strike. That would be the first strike in a private university in Spain.


Financial distress, loneliness, hunger (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

French students are calling for government support in Paris on January 20th

In the Paris daily newspaper The world Constance, a student of anthropology, described at the end of last week what is causing a growing number of her fellow students to despair and even driving some of them to suicide: »Financial difficulties, terrible loneliness, uncertainty, hunger«. The state of emergency declared months ago by the French government due to the rampant Covid epidemic, the planned tightening of the emergency law and the strict curfew are now overburdening young people mentally and physically. In a call for protest that the respected Internet portal Mediapart launched on January 17, the country’s 2.7 million students complain that while head of state Emmanuel Macron has fattened and kept “the big companies with 470 billion euros” in operation, but not the educational institutions.

Despite the ban on gatherings and drastic fines of up to 3,000 euros, a few hundred students moved from Port-Royal in the center of the capital to the Ministry of “Higher Education and Research” Frédérique Vidal last Wednesday. They called on the minister to finally normalize university operations again and to support the students. Further large-scale demonstrations are planned: On this Tuesday and again on February 4, teaching and administrative staff are to be involved in the protest in a nationwide »interprofessional campaign«.

As spokesmen for the various school, student and teacher unions emphasized, it is no longer just about lonely work in the »home office«. It is about the social disadvantage of those young people who have stayed for a year without the small jobs with which most of them have to finance a considerable part of their studies. In the appeal that set the student protest in motion, it was made clear: “The government gave the big companies 470 billion euros – the universities nothing. Nothing to combat student impoverishment. It is imperative to invest massively in university education and research in order to finally finance several thousand apprenticeship places and thus guarantee the continuation of studies. “

Minister Vidal and her colleague Jean-Michel Blanquer, who is responsible for France’s pupils, are decried as stiff administrators at the country’s universities and high schools – for ideas on how to better organize education in Covid times and, above all, the impoverishment and loneliness of the students they are not known. Both of them attracted attention as the executors appointed by Macron of an “educational reform,” which is intended to make access to universities more difficult and to encourage increasing privatization of the educational system.

The Covid epidemic has stopped the ambitious project of the great privatizer and student of a Jesuit-run Catholic school for the wealthy for the time being. In the catalog of demands of high school students and students, on the other hand, there is an at least partial resumption of classroom teaching and, as an immediate measure, a kind of retraining of the teaching staff, who have been tormenting themselves for months with the largely unfamiliar, sometimes completely unknown teaching at a distance until the pandemic. “In my current unhealthy mood, without money and social contacts, it happens to me that I am connected to the professor without really being able to follow what he is telling us on the computer,” complained the student Constance.

The student union “Union nationale des étudiants de France” has meanwhile calculated for the president what Constance and her fellow sufferers need to be able to successfully complete their studies during and possibly also after the so-called health crisis: at least 1.5 billion euros. A piece of cake compared to the sums with which French governments have pampered “free enterprise” for more than ten years.


Online exam: studying at a distance university – education

Online exams are currently being struggled with everywhere at German universities. The Fernuniversität Hagen has been a pioneer in distance studies since 1974. So there you should know how to do it. Or?

When Kevin Riebandt sang “I want to break free” at the Fernuniversität Hagen at the end of 2018, the guests loved him. Hagen Psychology was founded as a separate department at that time. For the 39-year-old student and trained opera singer, that was Queen-Title also life motto – he wanted to start something new. Almost two years later, Fernuni, of all places, could trip him up. He missed the 1.0 in health psychology by a hair’s breadth – and with it the transfer to the master’s degree. He had problems with the exam that was held online; it contained more questions than advertised. “It’s a shame,” he says, “for my professional career I have to rely on a master’s degree.”


People with disabilities and Corona: The forgotten children

At the beginning of the pandemic, children with cognitive disabilities received little attention. The challenges are enormous.

A boy plays in a center for autistic children in Gland, Switzerland Foto: Foto: Amelie-Benoist/picture alliance

BERLIN taz | At first, Ciwan didn’t understand why everyone wore a mask, says Berin Binici. “Now I can see that he misses school. Especially his class team. ”Binici is the mother of two children. Her younger son Ciwan is eight years old and has autism. Usually he visits a support center for physical, motor and mental development in Kiel.

In the pandemic, Binici, who works in the hospital, and her husband take turns looking after the children at home. During a phone call you can hear Ciwan calling in the background, Binici changes rooms in the two and a half room apartment. “Sometimes he’s really upset right now, like being thrown through a washing machine,” says the 42-year-old mother.

Social isolation, digital teaching, parental care – in the course of the corona pandemic, these topics were discussed a lot and controversially, but initially little consideration was given to children with cognitive impairments. They and their families are facing additional challenges in the pandemic: Not all children can follow digital lessons, social isolation can lead to a significant step backwards in learning and caring for children with cognitive disabilities can be particularly challenging for parents.

The back and forth between school closing and temporary opening confuses her son, Binici says. “While my older son is mostly lazy in lockdown, the change of day makes Ciwan very nervous. He’s very busy at home. ”The constant care for their children brought the parents to the limit at times.

Symptom of dealing with people with disabilities

Children at special schools were forgotten at the beginning of the pandemic, criticizes Ilka Hoffmann, board member of the Education and Science Union (GEW). This is a symptom of how people with disabilities are dealt with in society – regardless of the pandemic: “Responsibility is delegated to the special facilities. The people who work there take care of those affected and the rest of society has nothing to do with it. “

Those who are removed from everyday life are quickly forgotten. “For the special school teachers, the children were of course visible, but they were lost,” said the union.

“Our children simply do not exist in the perception of the ministry,” says the chairwoman of the GEW special education group in Schleswig-Holstein, Kerstin Quellmann. It is still often not clear whether the corona regulations announced for schools also apply to special needs schools. “The school administrators can happily interpret it themselves and are left completely alone with this responsibility,” she criticizes.

Quellmann, who is also the teacher at Ciwan, considers the home office to be simply impossible for parents of children with cognitive disabilities: “In my class, I don’t know a single student where the parents can do something other than looking after their child at the same time . “

Individual learning packages for every child

In Kiel, Kerstin Quellmann and her colleagues have therefore been trying since the beginning of the pandemic to make the situation easier for their students and their parents by providing packages with teaching materials. This includes: modeling clay, handicraft instructions, recipes and worksheets for learning to read and write. Depending on what corresponds to the development of the children. In the first lockdown, Quellmann personally brought the parcels to the children’s home, “to at least see them for a moment,” says the teacher.

Now many families don’t want her to come over for fear of an infection. The special needs school is therefore increasingly relying on digital offers: every morning at 8:45 a.m., the Quellmann’s class meets for a video conference. The team of teachers tries to replace the lack of social exchange.

“It’s really nice when one of the children comes to the video conference who isn’t there that often,” says Quellmann. “It’s always a huge joy for the whole class.” However, some children can only participate to a limited extent. Ciwan walk through the picture every now and then during the video conference and also notice the other children. The meetings on the screen are too abstract for him to participate properly. Without personal contact, it is difficult to keep in touch with children with cognitive disabilities, says Quellmann.

A child in her class only comes to the conference if the part-time mother is at home. She is particularly worried about another of her students. He seems very tense in the online meetings, in the background you can hear the screaming of the siblings. Some parents, on the other hand, did not dare to use video conferencing as a medium. “It now depends on the parents’ homes even more than before the pandemic, the gap is widening,” she says.

Existing problems intensify

Bernd Klagge from Bonn also describes the fact that parents of children at special schools are particularly challenged in the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the IT specialist and father of a son with Down’s syndrome has seen a clear development in the digital competence of teachers at special needs schools. He also praised the provision of teaching material. However, “the commitment of the parents is required, because our son cannot do his learning tasks without assistance,” explains Klagge.

Corona intensifies existing problems at special schools for children with cognitive disabilities. Due to a lack of teachers, Klagge and the state parents of the special needs schools with a focus on intellectual development in North Rhine-Westphalia complain about a significant loss of lessons. A survey initiated by parents at 39 special needs schools in North Rhine-Westphalia with a focus on intellectual development showed that four to five hours of lessons per week had been canceled since the summer holidays – and that before the lockdown.

The students The range of special education classes is aimed at children with increased needs, for example because of cognitive or physical disabilities or learning difficulties.Country matter Depending on the federal state, there are different names for special schools as well as different types of special schools. Their focus can be: promoting learning, seeing, hearing, language, physical and motor development, mental, social and emotional development.

In December, parents published an open letter to the NRW Minister of Education, Yvonne Gebauer (FDP), to point out the dramatic loss of classes at special schools. In the letter, the parents demand an improvement in the staffing situation at special schools for children with disabilities and the possibility that children who are entitled to integration assistance can be supported by them with learning at home.

The extent to which the school attendants, who otherwise help the children individually with the tasks at school, also work in the private sector is currently regulated differently depending on the federal state due to hygiene regulations. The answer from Minister Gebauer announced to the parents has not yet been received. At least there are online meetings initiated by the ministry with representatives of different parent associations, reports Klagge.

Storage instead of educational support

The father is happy that pupils at special schools, regardless of age, are entitled to childcare while the school is currently closed. Depending on the staff situation at the schools, however, this is more of a storage to relieve the parents than educational support, says Klagge. “Our concern is of course that our children learn something.”

In a position paper, Lebenshilfe also emphasizes that children and young people with disabilities have the unrestricted right to education and support even during the pandemic. Pupils and their relatives should receive the necessary support for alternative teaching formats.

“Ultimately, you have to take money and resources into your own hands to solve such problems,” says Bernd Klagge. Education costs something and organizational shifting back and forth doesn’t bring any solutions. Ilka Hoffmann from the GEW joins these demands. The funds from the digital pact would have to be adapted to the special needs of learners with disabilities. In addition, all schools would need additional staff in order to provide all children and young people in the pandemic with educational opportunities.

“Creativity is required here,” says Hoffmann, “the short-term additional involvement of volunteers, students and freelancers on a fee basis could also be considered, for example.” Educational justice must mean keeping an eye on all children. Hoffmann therefore advocates more inclusion in mainstream schools, which in turn should offer more space for children in their diversity and with their different needs: “Only a well-equipped inclusive school system is crisis-proof.”

No criticism of the corona restrictions

None of the interviewees doubts that the contact restrictions are also important and necessary in special schools for coping with the pandemic. However, union member Quellmann lacks transparency about the infection situation in schools. In their opinion, the hygienic equipment for the teaching staff is inadequate. So far you have received two FFP2 masks. For their daily use in emergency care with children, some of whom cannot wear a mask for health reasons, this is insufficient.

Due to the social contact restrictions, there are also many points that have a particularly negative effect on children in special needs schools: “The pandemic reduces the already few contacts between children with intellectual disabilities,” says Bernd Klagge. “As a result, they take dramatic setbacks in development.” This is also evident in motor development, according to teacher Quellmann. She speaks of stunted muscles and unlearned movement sequences after the school closings last year. “We had to do a lot of construction work, and that will probably await us again now.”

Ciwan’s mother also knows that after the pandemic it will again be some time before her autistic son will contact the other children in his class again. That would have just started slowly before Corona. Nevertheless, Berin Binici also observed a positive change in the lockdown: “Ciwan speaks to us a lot more than before. Because people are talking more at home too. “


Ebersberg: interview companion – Ebersberg

If parents do not want to see each other when the child is handed over after the separation, they often need a companion. Michael Nerreter on dealing with conflicts and what parents owe their children.

Michael Nerreter actually comes from a completely different corner of the world. From the sales department, medical devices, the Ebersberger replied tersely. Because he thinks that life means good to him, Nerreter wants to give something back to society. That is why he has been involved with the Ebersberg child protection association for 15 years, is first chairman and also works as a companion. He supports separated couples who have children together but do not want to run into each other for various reasons.


Companies cancel research projects with universities

Berlin Corona also damages science. At the universities, various research collaborations with industry broke off last year – the situation could worsen dramatically in 2021 because expiring projects will not be replaced.

This threatens a setback for one of the central goals of the federal government. Its declared aim was to support the transfer from research to business in order to strengthen the economy. The Union and the SPD wanted to “sustainably strengthen this transfer as the central pillar of our research and innovation system and achieve substantial increases,” says the coalition agreement.

But for the Corona year 2020, the universities put the losses due to the withdrawal of companies at an “upper double-digit million amount,” says the President of the University Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Peter-André Alt.

For 2021 there was a risk of losses “that go far beyond that”. It is about the elimination of direct industrial funds, but also national and EU funds in connection with business cooperation.

“In view of the economic challenges of the corona pandemic, external partners, in particular small and medium-sized German medium-sized enterprises, are often withdrawing for this and the next few years, so that joint research projects can no longer be carried out, or it will be very difficult”, warns Alt.

The President of the Alliance of Leading Technical Universities (TU9), Wolfram Ressel, is also alarmed. Most of the collaborations with industry take place at its universities. “Project content is increasingly being reduced, planned research projects are being put on hold and approved funding phases are being canceled without replacement,” says Ressel – and this development is “much more worrying” than the failures last year.

Last but not least, the overhead funds from industrial projects “that are urgently needed to finance university operations” would also be eliminated, says Ressel, who heads the University of Stuttgart. This is money that helps to finance general costs such as rooms or heating.

The federal government should help

Ressel has also noticed that TU9 is “already showing a clear reluctance to develop new R&D activities”. However, the consequences would “only really be visible with a delay” – and not only financially, “but in a second wave also structurally and socio-economically be felt”.

Many collaborations do not just consist of bilateral projects between a university and a company, but are “networks of local, national and international partners in which the lack of individual key projects can become a problem for an entire research and development cluster,” warns Ressel.

At the individual level, qualification work by students and doctoral candidates who are involved in projects with the economy is “delayed, interrupted or even impossible”. The TU9 President reports that many of the employees who were employed externally with the help of third-party funding could no longer be employed and complete their doctoral degrees.

In order to avert damage, both Alt and Ressel are calling for help from the federal government – similar to those promised to non-university research organizations as part of the Corona future package in summer 2020. At that time, the Federal Ministry of Research had set up a “replacement financing fund” of 400 million euros each for 2020 and 2021. Research organizations are compensated from this if they lose project money from the economy during the pandemic.


For 2020, however, only half, exactly 206 million euros, was approved from the pot, the ministry said at the request of the Greens. Almost all of the money went to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, which specializes in application-oriented research.

HRK President Alt reports that the universities were denied help from the future package as early as 2020. After all, universities are “also indispensable actors and important drivers in cooperative application-oriented research with companies”. Now that the failures are clearly recognizable, “it would only be fair” if the universities were to receive compensation for the industrial funds, “demands Ressel.

Greens: Federal government leaves universities out in the rain

The opposition sees it similarly: “The corona crisis must not turn into an innovation crisis,” warns the innovation policy spokeswoman for the Green parliamentary group, Anna Christmann. Because some companies “are forced to save on research and development as well and fail as important cooperation partners of research institutes, this threatens both non-university research institutions and universities”.

The Greens are therefore calling for the fund to be expanded to include the universities and for them to be given the unused 200 million from 2020. The Ministry of Research rejects this, however, it says unequivocally in the letter to the Greens, which the Handelsblatt has received.

Federal Research Minister Karliczek

The minister’s goal of supporting the transfer from research to business is endangered by Corona.

(Photo: dpa)

It is “completely incomprehensible why the federal government leaves the universities out in the rain,” criticized Christmann. One must “urgently counteract the death of projects in research and development in order to avert fatal long-term consequences for our innovation location”. This would affect science and business equally.

Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) is “once again insufficiently committed to Germany as a location for innovation. The concerns from science bounce off her unheard, ”criticizes the Greens.

TU9 President Ressel is already looking further into the future: “In addition, medium-term strategies for targeted federal programs to promote research projects between universities and business are urgently needed.” Technical universities in particular are due to their combination of basic research, application-oriented research and systematic transfer into the economy “the cornerstone of the German innovation landscape”.

More: Universities are losing internationality due to the corona


Backlogs of students cannot be resolved quickly, cabinet is coming up with a plan | NOW

The backlogs that students have incurred due to the corona crisis cannot be resolved this school year. The cabinet is therefore coming up with a national program to help primary and secondary schools solve the problems in the coming years.

How much money will be released is not yet known. According to education minister Arie Slob, a further explanation will be given soon.

He writes to the Lower House that he is very concerned about the effects of the necessary corona measures. “It is unrealistic to expect that all children will make up for the lag in the various development areas completely this year. The disadvantages for some pupils and students are too great for that, and the crisis is not over yet.”

In the letter, Slob writes that the prospects for the final exams this year are “less favorable than hoped”.

Reintroducing a 1.5 meter distance in secondary schools can make physical lessons and thus preparation even more difficult. Earlier, the minister had already made adjustments for the final exams for this school year. For example, students can spread their exams over two periods and get an extra resit.

Nevertheless, various educational parties, including the student organization LAKS, do not think that the exams can be continued in this form because students cannot prepare themselves properly.

Slob was supposed to discuss this with LAKS and other parties around the spring break, but has decided to have those talks already. What the exams will ultimately look like this year, the minister will announce around the spring break.


Sobyanin canceled remote school students and opened museums

Students of Moscow colleges resume full-time education from January 22, the work of children’s sports schools, institutions of additional education, museums, libraries is resumed, and public events are allowed. Such a decree was signed by the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, according to his personal blog.

“From January 22, 2021, colleges, institutions of additional education, sports schools and children’s leisure facilities under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Government will return to their normal operating hours,” the message says. It also states that student transport cards will be unlocked.

In addition, the Moscow mayor’s office is lifting restrictions on the functioning of children’s entertainment centers, day camps, children’s rooms in shopping centers, children’s corners and similar places of entertainment and babysitting. “However, the number of children and adults simultaneously staying at these facilities cannot exceed 50% of the total capacity of the respective premises,” the blog says.

Also, the metropolitan authorities allowed to increase the maximum occupancy in theaters, cinemas and concert halls. It increases from 25% to 50% of the total auditorium capacity. The work of museums, libraries, other cultural institutions is allowed, as well as the holding of mass sports, cultural and entertainment events, provided that the occupancy rate is 50% of the total capacity of the premises.

At the same time, distance education in universities subordinate to the Moscow government is being extended until February 6, in accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science. The current restrictions on the operation of restaurants, nightclubs, bars, discos, karaoke, bowling alleys and other entertainment establishments are also preserved. The elderly and those with chronic illnesses are advised to continue to maintain a home regimen. For organizations, the requirement to transfer at least a third of employees to remote work remains in force.

Earlier, Sobyanin, due to a decrease in the incidence of coronavirus, canceled distance learning for high school students, who went to face-to-face classes on January 18. Following the capital, most regions of Russia also made a decision to abolish schoolchildren. On January 19, Sobyanin announced a decrease in the incidence of coronavirus in Moscow “in all directions.”


Michael Piazolo: Seriously, Minister?

In Bavaria’s schools, many are currently overwhelmed: parents, children, teachers – the technology. Only the minister responsible, Michael Piazolo, seems to have lost his temper. That annoys everyone even more. But is it really someone to blame for everything?