Education ministers decree “normality” in schools: after removing the masks, the corona tests are now over

BERLIN. For nearly a year, schoolchildren in Germany have had to test themselves for Corona two or three times a week. After the Easter holidays, for many the last week of compulsory tests begins. In the future, they will be voluntary or event-related, for example in case of symptoms. The Conference of Education Ministers had already decided in March that “normality” should prevail in schools by “May at the latest”. Educational associations criticize him, in consideration of the fact that the infection process is still virulent.

The fact that thousands of students and teachers are infected with the Crown every day is part of the new “normal” of the school – even that the state is no longer interested. Photo: Shutterstock

After the mask requirement has been lifted, the time for mandatory corona tests in schools is coming to an end. As a survey in the 16 federal Länder showed, the requirement to take the test has already been abolished in six countries or ends at the beginning of the new week, in six countries it expires at the end of the week at the turn of the month at the most recent. Only in Berlin and Thuringia are there further tests: in Thuringia until May 6 and in Berlin “until further notice”, according to the education administration. Hamburg and Saarland have not yet made any decisions on how to approach the May tests.

Educational unions and the German Teachers’ Association have criticized the extensive end of compulsory tests. The president of the Teachers’ Association Heinz-Peter Meidinger said: “We are faced with the justified concern of families who have people at risk and previously ill children in their own families.” The revocation of all health protection measures also goes to the detriment of undergraduates, who were afraid of missing exams or having to catch up on exams due to an infection. According to Meidinger, many high school graduates currently stay at home as a precaution and cancel classes “because health protection in schools is now reduced to zero in many cases.”

“The latest effective preventive measure that helps protect the health of employees, students and parents”

Vice President of the Education and Science Union (GEW), Andreas Keller, called it “negligent” to refrain from testing after the mask requirement was lifted. “This is the latest effective preventative measure that helps protect the health of employees, students and their parents. The corona pandemic is not over yet,” said Keller. “To put an end to all protective measures is to play with fire, which can fall at the foot of schools with the next wave.”

The president of the Education and Training Association (VBE), Udo Beckmann, said: Anyone who wants to enable continuous school operations in the presence with a still high level of infection must carefully consider whether now is the right time to take preventive measures such as testing and masks dispense.

Earlier this month, the mask requirement was abolished in most schools in accordance with the requirements of the Infection Protection Act. However, Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had declared themselves hotspots and therefore could keep them. In both countries, however, the hotspot phase will expire in the next few days (MV April 27, HH April 30) and with it the mask requirement. On the other hand, compulsory tests in schools were and still are legally possible throughout Germany. However, most countries don’t. Instead, voluntary and event-related tests will be offered in the future, for example in case of symptoms or if a school trip is imminent.

Obviously there is enough capacity: according to initial information from Berlin Education Senator Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD), the state of Berlin still has millions of tests in reserve and could “easily arrive by the summer holidays”. The action taken by most federal states corresponds to a decision by the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) in March to expire all crown protection measures in schools by “at the latest May,” as the president said. of the KMK, Schleswig-Holstein Education Minister Karin Prien (CDU), explained at the time.

KMK’s decision states (in the formulation of a statement): «In the coming weeks, a forward-looking and prudent path to return to normal will be pursued, in which the further development of the pandemic will be carefully monitored. Adapted to the specific situation in the federal Länder, existing restrictions in schools must be gradually lifted. This applies to restrictions on teaching practice, such as in the subjects of music and physical education, as well as to the use of masks and the requirement for students to take tests without reason. The home quarantine should also be abolished, which represents a high psychosocial burden for children and young people and results in an unnecessary interruption of their daily life as nursery schools and schools ».

There are apparently no preparations for this if the infection rate picks up again in the fall, as predicted by most experts. Global protective measures such as the general requirement to wear masks in schools or the closure of schools have been banned in federal states by the traffic light coalition in the federal government via the Infection Protection Act. News4teachers / with material from the dpa

Compulsory tests in schools

What currently applies in the individual federal states:

  • BAYERN Compulsory tests by the end of the week
  • BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG No more compulsory tests after the Easter holidays from April 25th.
  • BERLIN daily tests until the end of the week, then three a week until “until further notice”.
  • BRANDENBURG Compulsory tests by the end of the week
  • BREMA compulsory tests by the end of the week
  • HAMBURG hotspot phase with masks and mandatory tests until the weekend. The Senate is still deciding how to proceed
  • HESEN tests required by the end of the week
  • MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN Hotspot phase with mandatory masks and mandatory tests until Wednesday (April 27)
  • LOWER SAXONY Compulsory tests by the end of the week
  • NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA No more compulsory tests after the Easter holidays from April 25th.
  • RHEINLAND-PFALZ Obligation to test already abolished
  • SAARLAND compulsory tests at least until the end of the week, then still open
  • SAXONY Proof already abolished
  • SACHSEN-ANHALT From 25 April no more compulsory tests.
  • SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN Obligation to test already abolished
  • THURINGIA Compulsory tests scheduled until 6 May

After Corona: you can no longer make a state with these ministers of culture

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