Debate: who should decide on secondary school: parents or teachers?

MONK. For fourth-graders in Bavaria, Monday is a special day: they receive transition certificates. For most of them it is clear what kind of school they will continue in. But that doesn’t do such young children justice, complains the largest teachers’ association, the BLLV. He wants to leave the decision on secondary school to the parents. The VDR secondary school teachers association disagrees. A fundamental debate that extends beyond the borders of the Free State.

The structured school system in Germany forces a decision after primary school: who takes it? This is regulated differently from state to state. Illustration: Shutterstock

On Monday, Free State fourth-graders will receive transition certificates with a binding career recommendation and, like every year, a debate has erupted over the usefulness of this requirement. The Bavarian Association of Teachers (BLLV), for example, which mainly represents primary and secondary school teachers, does not see individual support, equal opportunities and education in the current system, regardless of the further and very different consequences of corona virus. .

In Bavaria, the transfer recommendation for the Realschule or the Gymnasium is based on the grade point average in the three subjects German, Mathematics and Home and General Education. “Today, in Bavaria, the figures after the decimal point determine the future schooling of a nine- or ten-year-old boy. This principle contradicts a modern image of man, the provision of educational and life-friendly opportunities for children, as well as the principles of an individual vision of pupils’ learning processes “, criticizes BLLV president Simone Fleischmann.

“Teachers experience negative effects on learning behavior every day”

“This system ensures that the injustice in the Bavarian education system continues to grow,” he points out. “School teachers experience negative effects on the learning behavior and mental health of many children and their families every day. And Corona has further intensified these effects. The fact that politics is not even in this exceptional situation able to break out of rigid schemes and move away from the classic and already invalid certificate of passage is a mystery to me personally and to all primary school pupils here in Bavaria and their families, a bad sign for the future “.

Fleischmann therefore advises leaving more decision to parents, after all, three grades do not reflect the capabilities or potential of children as a whole with all their abilities and skills. He asks: “What good is a vote of 2.33 or 2.66? For distribution in the system. It keeps the Bavarian school system in three parts – actually in four parts – at any cost. But this is not the goal of school – but that cannot be the goal of elementary school – which cannot and should not be the goal of learning and achieving students – not in 4th grade and actually never. ‘Learning for the test’ – until the day of the “announcement”: it doesn’t have to be! ” Many students are overwhelmed by the pressure to perform, the workload, the type of feedback – often reduced to grades – and the pace of learning. At the same time, many children are encouraged and encouraged by their family environment, while others lack this support ”.

“The school must not be a pseudo-sanctuary in laboratory conditions, where performance is equated only with pressure and stress”

The president of the German association of secondary school teachers VDR, Jürgen Böhm, asks instead: “This ideologically charged discussion about the usefulness of transfer to secondary schools must finally end!” The criticisms of the Bavarian transfer procedure completely ignore the reality. “The school does not have to be a ‘pseudo sanctuary’ in laboratory conditions, where performance and grades are always equated with pressure and stress,” said Böhm. It is important that children are not overwhelmed with the wrong school choice, but that they are encouraged based on their individual talents.

Fleischmann objects: “Not in an underserved system, not with this blatant teacher shortage, where remedial teachers replace class teachers, specialist teachers teach whole classes or ideally two classes at once, school psychologists in short supply, experienced colleagues they are all lateral and lateral entrants and train reception workers and bridge builders, school leaders become health managers, integration politicians become people gatherers to compensate for the lack of teachers on site. ” News4teachers / with material from the dpa


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