- Launched 13/05/2021
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Dear Mr Tullner,
You are the Minister of Education of Saxony-Anhalt. In this function, it is your duty to give children, parents and teachers a perspective and path for learning within the school system. Your plans for stricter grading regulations for promotion contradict these duties. Currently, at secondary schools, if pupils in class 6 have at least a mark 4 on their final year report, they are admitted to the Realschule branch (the mark 5 can be compensated) of the school. The amendment you are planning tightens this rule. If, for example, there is a mark 4 on the report card in German and in Biology (with other marks 1 to 3), the child will not be admitted to Realschule classes in class 7 and will be assigned to the Hauptschule branch.
We, committed and motivated teachers, protest. For us it is incomprehensible why you want to massively curtail the educational prospects of twelve-year-old pupils.
Your measure would disregard the efforts of pupils and parents, especially those of last year.
After a year of pandemic, with parents sacrificing themselves at home doing the job of teachers on the side and students struggling hard, your bill is a kick in the shins. Why do you want to disqualify all efforts towards self-structuring and self-motivation in such a way?
Your measure would intervene far too early in the children's educational biographies.
In terms of the psychological development of children, one thing above all becomes clear: pupils need time to develop, to overcome crises and to learn. We can say from school practice that at the end of class 6 it cannot yet be decided where their journey will lead them. Therefore, we consider it generally questionable to have to make this division in class 6; but your suggestion to tighten this regulation is even more questionable!
Your measure would put the brakes on reforms in the education system.
For years, politicians, researchers and schools have been trying to advance reforms in the education system. All learners should have access to quality education. Your plan is contrary to the educational policy efforts of the federal and state governments to promote inclusion in schools. Why do you want to restrict young students' rights to participation and equal educational opportunities?
Your measure would only shift the problem of funding and teacher shortages.
You are trying to fill the holes left by the shortage of teachers. More school leavers with a lower secondary school leaving certificate after class 9 would mean misusing the teachers' hours thus freed up for the necessary reorganisation of an understaffed school system. Why do you now want to solve an overdue educational reform by disadvantaging the pupils?
And what will your intended change mean for the future labour and training market?
We teach our students that it is okay to make mistakes, because they will learn and benefit from them in the future. And very importantly, if you don't know something, you look for support, experts and helpers. You, Mr Tullner, don't seem to want to know that. You can learn from your previous mistakes in education policy and that is why we demand:
- Discard your plan to tighten the grading system for promotion! If you want to reduce the number of school drop-outs, equip the education system to address the causes!
- Develop a sustainable school concept for all pupils in Saxony-Anhalt! All children are entitled to equal opportunities for a good education. Make this a priority.
- Consult with people from the field! Talk to the many committed educators, social workers, pedagogical staff, teachers, parents and above all the pupils of our state about problems and their solutions in the education system. And listen.
With angry yet polite greetings,
Verena Hatnik, Katharina Kraus and Anne Frenzel...
(and many other committed colleagues)
on 13 May 2021