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Germany: Latest changes in school laws due to the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus effects on schools in Germany: Attorney Radwan Skhita, A doctoral researcher in data security and its laws not only cast a shadow over the Coronavirus pandemic on the medical and commercial sector, but also on the educational sector.

Learning institutions stopped operating for several months and was limited to a limited distance education mostly done online, then returned partially again and it will return entirely, but in a thoughtful manner.

This has prompted those in charge of the academic sector in the state governments to put forward amendments and proposals to cope with the effects of the Coronavirus , and to ensure that education continues in schools as safely as possible by amending school laws in Germany. 

And because the provinces are governed by independent ministries of education, the Ministry has issued instructions in each province that have similarities in their general goals, and differed in their details according to the directions of the provincial government, injury rates, and so on.

When will schools fully return to function?

Beginning with the return to schools in the new school year 2020/2021, North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to return schools from the fifteenth of August 2020, without any change from the usual date, which is six weeks after the start of the summer vacation. The same applies to other provinces, with different starting dates depending on the dates of the beginning of their summer vacation.

In the afternoon, the childcare service in schools will resume work after it stopped due to the pandemic, and has caused many job breakdowns for parents who have jobs, and they need to leave their children in school until late in the afternoon.

In the state of Saarland, a decision was made to work on the digitization of education by making educational curricula available digitally so that there is readiness for digital education and distance education in the event of a pandemic return . In the coming months, work will be facilitated to provide students with digital boards to study, and the state has already allocated 50 million euros initially for this purpose

The state of Hesse also raised the issue of digitization of education, with attention to the issue of securing fast Internet connections appropriate to the application of this type of education, while parliamentarians in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania found that securing computers and devices to implement the e-learning mechanism should not stop at students whose families cannot secure these devices for financial reasons And, in such cases, it should be funded by the state government.

As for the amendment of school laws in Germany regarding reserves during school hours, some states did not extend mandatory wearing of masks, but only recommended the necessity of undue rapprochement with the possibility of collectively sitting in class as before, as stated by the Minister of Education in the Rhineland-Pfalz Region, where It is no longer obligatory for the student to wear the masks, but the procedures for disinfection and prevention are still imposed on all students and teachers. As for the imposition of downloading the Corona infected tracker application on teachers and students, downloading this application remains just a recommended procedure

On the other hand, and to avoid a lack of giving scientific material as a result of the schools stopping and teaching being limited to some exercises from home, many ministries of education in a number of provinces, including Berlin and Hesse, provided a free opportunity during the summer vacation to attend lectures giving back lessons that were cancelled due to the pandemic, or To strengthen students in basic subjects such as German and mathematics , these lectures were or will be provided for free, and registration links have been provided through the ministries’ websites.

It remains to say that most ministries of education, even the federal government, have launched programs, services, lines of communication and psychological support to provide advice and support in the event that teachers or students and parents have psychological problems caused by domestic isolation in the past months, and singled out teachers for programs that they can optionally attend when needed, helping them in Overcome the psychological difficulties they faced as a result of working from home and dropping out of school.

Source: Abwab