When classes start again in Berlin on Monday, attendance and daily Coronavirus tests will be mandatory.
Parents will thus not be able to decide for themselves whether to send their child to school or not, as was the case in earlier phases of the pandemic. "We are moving forward with full attendance," Berlin's new education senator Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD) told the German Press Agency on Thursday (30 December 2021). "And I am very happy about that." In the morning, the senator had discussed the topic with the members of the hygiene advisory board.
Education senator wants mandatory attendance for as long as possible
Busse, until recently herself the head of a primary school in Neukölln
, stated that the temporary alternation of classroom teaching and digital learning during the pandemic shows clear disadvantages: "I can't split myself in two as a teacher, you can't do that. And I can't replicate a chemistry experiment at home either." She therefore relies on mandatory attendance for as long as possible. However, the medium-term development of the Coronavirus pandemic is difficult to predict, Busse says. "But I hope that attendance will remain possible because a suspension can lead to disruptions at school."
Omicron variant: schools prepare to tighten staff numbers
Busse acknowledge the possibility that the staffing situation in the schools could become a problem if teachers should also fall ill as infection numbers rises. "However, the schools were already informed before Christmas by a bulletin that they must prepare for a possible shortage of staff and act accordingly, in consultation with the school supervisors," said the education senator. "School administrators are prepared for this situation, they have plans for such cases, you don't have to come up with them from scratch."
Publication date: 28. May 2022
Last updated: 31. December 2021