Gebauer slows down online school for sick children, administrative court agrees

Bochum. An online school that cares for sick children has suffered a major setback in court. According to a decision now published by the Higher Administrative Court in Münster, students at Bochum Web Singles School are not allowed to take part in the final examination, which is administered by external tutors, at a single test site. The Bochum school, which is just a correspondence school and not a regular state-recognized school, has been doing this for a long time. However, the number of examinees increased and so did the effort. The NRW Department of Education declined the settlement offer.

Fixed: NRW School Minister Yvonne Gabauer (FDP). Photo: Ministry of Education NRW / Thomas Banneyer

The Minister of the North Rhine-Westphalian School (FDP) in the dispute complained that the Arnsberg County government “cannot organize permanent final examinations for the entire Federal Territory” – and announced that they wanted to create a digital alternative to regular school attendance “in the future state education system” – for those Who cannot go to school for serious health reasons. The aim is to enable students “free from commercial interests to return to face-to-face teaching in the future or graduate successfully if this is not possible”.

However, she said nothing about why there was no such government offer in North Rhine-Westphalia more than two years after the start of the Corona pandemic. Nor did she explain why she would simply end the school’s prior measure, rather than seek a compromise with the education ministries of other federal states.

“This is a sad ruling for us and very bad news for families and students.”

The need is indisputable: in a textile school, children and young people who cannot attend regular school due to mental or physical illness are educated individually via the Internet. Recently, up to 120 pupils were directed to their qualifications at the Hauptschule or Realschule each year, and 70 young people had to go to the examination phase which has now begun.

According to the school administration, they must also be closely supervised during exams, sometimes they need very special conditions in the exam site – individual school teachers on the web, who know the examinees well from online lessons, must continue to be present for the exams, and the school online After he recalled the promise to students and parents. However, this promise can only be adequately fulfilled if the tests of all supervised students are taken at the same test site.

However, this plan failed in court. As per the decision of the OVG, the Regulation on “External Examination” does not provide for young people from other federal states to have access to the external examination in NRW. In addition, it was emphasized that the actions of the Arnsberg County Government were “error-free”.

Director Sarah Lichtenberger was shocked. “This is a sad ruling for us and very bad news for families and students.” During exams, support from the usual teacher is remedially necessary, but this is no longer guaranteed. Exams starting on Wednesday must take place in more than 15 schools across NSW. Nearly 30 web-based single-school teachers will be dispatched across the state in rental cars to try to provide support for mentally or physically ill children and “to have a calming effect on children who are completely undriven.”

“How do you know that? They didn’t talk to any of us, they didn’t ask anyone.”

The Ministry of Education had earlier refused to offer a settlement from the court. The comparison stipulated that the Arnsberg County government would keep its hat when planning and naming five test sites. The individual web school must have formed five groups accordingly. The principal explained at the time that it required a lot of work, but that all students could be escorted and looked after on site.

The Ministry of Education justified its refusal by the fact that “redistribution […] Based on the suggested comparison […] A few weeks before the start of the exam on May 11 […] Not in the interest of the already stressed test samples.” However, the parents of the concerned pupils defended themselves in a letter: “How do you know that? You haven’t talked to any of us, anyone asked. It also makes sense, because all of us, all parents, children and teachers see it differently. We want our children to know that their teachers are nearby. We want to give you that security.”

This is off the table now. News4teachers / Articles from dpa

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