Stark-Watzinger calls for emergency plans for schools

Status: 10.01.2022 11:46 a.m.

School has started again in eight other federal states. Federal Education Minister Stark-Watzinger is calling for emergency plans also for schools so that lessons can be continued despite the threat of quarantine.

Federal Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger has called for better precautions for the increased quarantine cases in schools due to the Omikron variant. “Schools are also a critical infrastructure for me,” said the FDP politician in the joint Morning magazine from ARD and ZDF. That is why failure planning must now also be integrated into school management.

This means that teachers who have been quarantined, for example, are switched on in a hybrid form and so on should teach. Students who are in quarantine should also continue to be involved in the class. “That has to go to school management,” said Stark-Watzinger. “Education must be a top priority.”

Increase the vaccination rate in the age group of students

Hygiene measures and mask requirements must be implemented consistently and extensive testing is necessary. In addition, the minister called for increased vaccinations in the age group of schoolchildren. “We have to ensure that there is also a boost in schools,” said Stark-Watzinger. The fact that the vaccination rate of the under 18-year-olds is lower than that of the older population is due to the fact that vaccination was only started later in this age group. But now every pupil of this age group has to get a vaccination offer.

School start in eight federal states

Schools are starting again in eight federal states today after the Christmas break. There are sometimes stricter precautions because of the rapidly spreading virus variant Omikron. In Bavaria, vaccinated and recovered pupils also have to test themselves regularly. In Baden-Württemberg, too, tests are initially being carried out more intensely in schools for six weeks.

In the most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, all pupils, teachers and other employees at the schools are to be tested on the first day after the holidays.

Schools are also starting again in Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Bremen. In the eight other federal states, lessons had already started again in the past few days.

Schools should remain open

The culture ministers responsible for education of the federal states confirmed their line on Wednesday that schools should be kept open in the current Corona situation. The traffic light parties in power in the federal government, the SPD, Greens and FDP, had ruled out changes to the Infection Protection Act that would lead to another major school lockdown like a year ago. However, there could be restrictions locally at schools, for example if health authorities ordered this, explained the President of the Conference of Ministers of Education, Karin Prien (CDU).

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