All individuals having signed this petition are concerned about the healthy development of future generations. They all want to actively support constructive educational investments in kindergartens, child care programs and preschools and intend to develop a network helping this initiative to reach these goals quickliy and in a convincing way.
One third of all one-year-old children in the USA today use computers before they can walk or speak. In Germany 70% of 2- to 5-year-olds currently spend half an hour a day with a smartphone. The most commonly used application in Germany among 6-year-olds is Facebook. All pre-school age children watch television, often far more than an hour a day. The prevailing attitude of many adults is that it is unavoidable or even useful for the child getting involved with digital technology at a very early age, especially since well-known politicians responsible for education impress the public with high investments in this area. Even more horrifying is the extent to which risks and side-effects of digital information technology on children are not taken into account. The younger the child, the more damaging these risks and side-effects are – due to the plasticity of the brain at this early age. The younger the child the more it is endangered by false stimulation and disruptive influences. For this reason, investments allowing and supporting healthy development make much more sense than investing in digital education – the earlier in age the more – as demonstrated in the following illustration. Thus, for example, finger games foster mathematical capacities and development of the frontal lobes of the brain, whereas tablet computers do not have this effect – because cognitive achievement is provided by areas of the brain that receive their signals from activated sensory and motor areas. We are all asked to get involved! Neither can we leave health and education of the next generation – our future – nor the basic pillars of our free democratic society to economic interests of the richest companies in the world! Therefore we demand that our educational facilities, above all kindergartens, preschools and child care centers, must be kept free from the scientifically proven negative influences on our children! By demanding this we are doing nothing less than defending the fundamental values of our society against an overly powerful economic lobby. If we do not get involved, we are proving a lack of responsiblity toward the next generation, to whom we have already left a sufficient legacy of problems, including debt, conflicts, and a trash-filled planet. We thank each active participant in civil society, each expert, each institution that supports this call to action. The more we are, the better we can point out the importance of our position to politicians responsible for education. We will start with these actions in the first quarter of 2017. With heartfelt wishes, in the hope that this call to action will serve the protection of childhood and the dignity of the child!