The Corona pandemic has severely restricted the lives of children and young people in the past two years. School closures have led to learning deficiencies and mental health disabilities.
Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Last year, the federal and state governments jointly launched the 2021 and 2022 “Catch-up Post-Coronavirus for Children and Youth” work program. In their interim report, the federal states have now documented the actions they initiated and planned for another term.
Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger explains:
The coronavirus pandemic has placed a special burden on children and young people. School closures have resulted in significant learning gaps, psychological stress, and other social barriers. In mathematics and the natural sciences alone, the learning disability is 10 to 13 weeks. The gaps are larger for children who grow up in more disadvantaged social conditions. We cannot accept that. That is why the federal government has provided 1 billion euros to reduce the learning deficit as part of the Corona catch-up programme. According to the interim report of the federal states, a large number of activities related to the jointly agreed actions have been made available. Now we must increase our implementation efforts. We owe it to children and young people.”
The President of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Schleswig-Holstein, Karin Brin explains:
Children and young people have suffered the most from the effects of the pandemic. The combined efforts of the federal and state governments should help us offer our students a return to normalcy with different offerings. Various state programs and the federal “Catch-up After Corona for Children and Youth” work program laid the groundwork for additional employees to attend schools. Teachers in Germany, along with many other supportive forces and professions in schools, ensure that students emerge from the pandemic safely.”
State A Coordinator and Hamburg Senator for Schools and Vocational Education Ties Rabe explains:
It is estimated that school closures due to the pandemic have resulted in learning deficits in about a quarter of students. Meanwhile, limited school and childcare options during the pandemic have serious consequences for the motivation to learn and the human and social development of children and youth. In order to make up for this shortfall and enable all children and young people to continue their successful educational careers, states and federal municipalities have created large-scale and promising funding offers. However, staying in power is required before the consequences of the coronavirus can be overcome.”
The State Coordinator B and Minister of Education in the State of Hesse, Professor Dr. R. explains. Alexander Lowes:
The program of work shows how the federal and state governments can move so much money together for such an important task in the education sector and use it in a short time. In a few weeks, federal states have developed concepts on how to help children and young people who have experienced the stress of the coronavirus pandemic and have not been able to make progress in learning in the usual way. And the federal government has shown that it can save money in a very non-bureaucratic way. Funding through the higher VAT share is a blueprint for other programs that can be used to fund tasks in the education sector in the future. This interim report is impressive evidence of that.”
You can find the interim report here.
Reducing learning disability is an essential part of the 2021 and 2022 “Post-Coronavirus Catch-up Program for Children and Youth” by the federal and state governments. By amending the Fiscal Equivalency Act (which came into force on July 23, 2021), the federal government has made €1 billion available to the federal states for this purpose, a third of which will be in 2021. This money from the reduction in the federal government’s share of sales tax directly enhances budgets Federal states. Federal states are responsible for implementing measures to reduce learning disabilities. I submitted an interim report on March 31, 2022.
The interim report to the federal states documents a large number of widespread measures that began in the second half of 2021 and will continue into 2022 and in some cases be expanded further. The range of measures is wide, taking into account the specific circumstances and needs of each country as well as locally installed structures: in addition to offers of support to compensate for learning deficits in basic subjects and offers of language support, they include offers of educational leave in leisure, offers of psychological support, and special and educational measures directed towards profession, as well as musical, cultural and sports performances. This has been achieved through the use of teachers and additional support staff such as students in teacher training courses, retirees, educational social specialists and corporate trainers as well as with the help of collaboration partners such as clubs, institutions, adult education centers and tutoring providers.
The interim final report to be submitted by March 31, 2023 aims to assess the implementation of the measures and their effectiveness.