Meissen: Meissen: Are you staying or going to school?





Meißen: Are you staying or going to school?

Due to the pandemic, the number of early school leavers has increased significantly in some regions. Did the game sneak in with us because of Corona?

By André Schramm

5 minutes

Corona didn't necessarily promote a desire to go to school.  The number of fines in connection with refusal to go to school has increased over the past year in the Meissen district.

Corona didn’t necessarily promote a desire to go to school. The number of fines in connection with refusal to go to school has increased over the past year in the Meissen district.
© Claudia Hubschmann

Meissen. Between classroom teaching, home schooling, quarantine and completely closed schools, the desire to teach has not necessarily grown in the last two years. At least that’s what reports from parts of the Federal Republic suggest. For example, Hanover reported an increase in early school leaving. Schools in Baden-Württemberg also face school absenteeism more often after two years of the pandemic. And U.S?

At the State Office for School and Education in Saxony it is difficult to make an assessment. “We generally don’t have data on this,” spokesman Roman Schulz told Sächsische Zeitung. In any case, Schulz continued, at the moment it is very difficult to take stock, since the suspension of compulsory schooling, the quarantine rules and the total closure of schools in the last two years have created some uncertainty. “It is possible that one or the other case was hiding behind it,” he says. A trend could only be determined by the number of administrative offenses recorded. “These are cases where all the previous measures have not worked. So just the tip of the iceberg,” says Schulz.


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Numbers are also increasing in the district

Between February 2020 and January 2021, the district regulatory office initiated a total of 248 fine proceedings across the district for permanent absence from school. In the same period, just a year later, there were already 308. For comparison: between 2016 and 2018 there were only between 135 and 139 corresponding notifications each year. The way to deal with school outcasts is in a corresponding administrative regulation. Based on this, in the event of minor violations of compulsory education, a discussion with the person concerned is initially envisaged. If someone is absent for more than three days in a school semester, the school must involve legal guardians. From the fifth day there is the threat of proceedings for administrative offenses with fines, in the worst case up to 1,250 euros. If all funds are exhausted, the defaulting party can also be picked up by the police.

At the Triebishtal School, school dropouts are not an everyday problem. “Fortunately, we only have to deal with it occasionally. But what we found: the motivation to get up early, go to school and take part in classes has already decreased over the past two years, especially among students who previously had problems,” says Steffi Wenzel . Excused absences are also increasing. “Parents call the school in advance and cancel their son or daughter. Health problems are often cited,” continues Wenzel. Unlike work, for example, no medical certificate is required. If there is a suspicion of going to school, parents will receive a letter from the headmistress, in which duties and consequences are indicated. “If the cancellation gets out of hand, we usually ask for a medical certificate,” says the director.

“Keep busy with the kids!”

Marcel Bretschneider thinks it is the wrong tactic to always leave the sanctions club. He is a supervisor at Arche Meissen and has been involved in early school leaving in the past. One teenager had 80 days off work. “There is a reason why you avoid school. Most of the time, it was preceded by a negative event. Bullying, verbal violence, being overwhelmed by the material. Sometimes it is a teacher who constantly nags you,” says the assistant social. And if the authorities put pressure on it, it is a double punishment. According to him, the problem is social. “Parents are so busy with their professional life that in the evenings they simply don’t have the energy to deal with their son or daughter in depth, let alone find out about their problems and deal with them,” he says. The child must therefore somehow deal with it alone. Orderly family and social circumstances are no guarantee that everything will go smoothly and that everyone will eventually go to school well behaved. His appeal: “Get involved with the kids again, and seriously.” L’Arche has also started a collaboration project with the Liceo Pestalozzi for some time. One component is social skills training, which deals with the class community, bullying and the relationship between students and teachers.

In the 2000s, projects for early school leaving have sprung up everywhere. In many counties, the initiatives did not survive. The school and work project (former school refusal project) of “MeiLe” is completely different. Those who refuse to go to school have the option of attending compulsory school outside of regular school. “We have eight seats for the entire district. Seven of these are currently occupied. Five young people are on the waiting list,” says coordinator Elke Kohout. Boys and girls from secondary schools and the special needs school area are allowed E. Students usually stay here for a full school year. However, the lessons don’t go according to the curriculum. “For the younger ones, it’s about reviving the desire to learn. We make older age groups eligible for vocational school,” continues Elke Kohout. She has lived through almost everything in the last 15 years: the teenager who hasn’t seen a classroom for a year and a half, but also the eighth grade who could neither read nor write.

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In the Meißner structure a distinction is made between active rejectors, i.e. truant, and passive rejecters, i.e. students who were physically present but who significantly interrupted the lesson. “Interestingly, troublemakers end up with us far more often than troublemakers who don’t bother anyone,” says the coordinator. Here, too, it happens that someone is missing early in the morning. “Then I’d rather the parents not feel ashamed and say they couldn’t get their son or daughter out of bed than tell a bad story,” says Kohout.

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