Xanten In Xanten, more investments are expected in high schools and general schools. The Free Citizens’ Initiative (FBI) had therefore suggested examining the cooperation between the two schools. Group leader Peter Hilbig on the reasons and refusal of high school.
Mr. Hilbig, at the request of the FBI, the city administration of Xanten has considered whether the Stiftsgymnasium and the Willi-Fährmann-Gesamtschule can cooperate more if the buildings are renovated. Why is it necessary?
Peter Hilbig There were several reasons for this. It is of the utmost importance to the FBI that our children receive the best possible education. The upcoming construction measures will require amounts in the millions, most of which will have to be funded by Xanten itself. Therefore, we must ask ourselves if there are ways to reduce overall costs without having to put up with too many restrictions on school operations.
For example, from both schools sharing specialist classrooms?
Hilbig The so-called MINT areas – mathematics, information processing, natural sciences, technology – require specially equipped classrooms and materials in schools. Here we have seen and continue to see the potential to exploit synergies, that is, to save, without accepting compromises in terms of quality. A joint MINT area should obviously cover the needs of both schools. But in the situation where we have to be active in both schools at the same time, so to speak – elementary school and middle school – we also have the opportunity to think about new approaches.
Hilbig Our approach is primarily based on sharing space and flexibility for future travel between schools as enrollment numbers change. Each school would remain self-sufficient! However, we see that by simply using these specialist areas together, there are opportunities for future and comprehensive offerings and further opening up of specialized specialist topics.
The high school objected. City council is now voting on Tuesday that both schools will be further developed independently. Are you disappointed?
Hilbig The FBI would have preferred a different location. However, there are also topics from the Gymnasium that we shouldn’t ignore. Each school must obviously first find and represent the best solution for itself. This is also their task and responsibility for the better functioning of the school. We have had intense discussions with the school administrations on this. There are, in fact, also arguments that speak against a common MINT area: positions in the organization, operations, responsibilities, distance from each other. All issues that could be overcome, but which are not always the best for either school. The FBI continues to believe that the overall result would add significant value to the school landscape and save on future costs. Here we would have expected the Gymnasium to focus more on opportunities. But we must be willing to listen and accept the wishes and arguments of parents and teachers.
Did the idea of sharing specialist classrooms die when high school said no?
Hilbig First of all, the next steps for the conception and implementation of the two schools are decoupled and self-sufficient. It is now very important for us to ensure that inclusive schooling is not disadvantaged in the process! We need to develop both schools together. It will be a challenge, but it is also our duty not to accept another delay for middle school. More concrete plans are still pending. However, if opportunities arise for jointly used areas in the next course, we will continue to request them.