God needs a backup plan

In view of the Corona crisis, the Greens present a "backup plan" for the coming school year

The Greens have developed a "backup plan" for how schools should proceed in the fall in the event of closings due to the coronavirus pandemic. The eight points include, among other things, outdoor learning, forming small groups, establishing one communication system for each school, and making special arrangements for those children who have recently received poor distance learning.

The Greens want the new school year to start normally and continue normally. "But we just have to reckon with the fact that - see Upper Austria - there will have to be restrictions and thinning again locally, perhaps in individual classes, in individual schools or parts of the community. And for this we have to establish a network that is available in case that "is the idea behind the plan, according to education spokeswoman Sibylle Hamann.

Discussed with Fassmann

The plan has been discussed with the department of Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) and will be largely shared in terms of content or is already being implemented, Hamann emphasized to the APA. However, one cannot prescribe everything from above. With their backup plan, the Greens therefore want to initiate a broad public debate on those points where parents, school principals and educators themselves have to take action.

Specifically, all children and young people who were not easily accessible via distance learning should be clarified in a detailed discussion with their legal guardians where the problems are and a "crisis plan" should be established. In addition, it should be ensured that every teacher and every student from secondary level 1 (especially new middle school, lower level AHS) has a functional tablet or laptop or that loan devices including data credit are provided. The devices should then be used regularly in lessons or for homework from September.

Mentoring program started

The plan also provides a remedy for the much-lamented jumble of learning and communication platforms during the school closings: The Greens want a clear, uniform platform for teaching content that is tailored to the school levels and on which the teachers are trained. Every school should commit itself to a system for communication. Both are to be activated and used in regular operation from September. Work on this is already in progress in the ministry, said Hamann.

The mentoring program requested has already started. The ministry has already launched a website at www.weiterlernen.at on which children who do not receive enough learning support at home can register for support from buddies and mentors. The platform must now be filled with life.

No more getting rid of it

Learning stations should be set up at the schools (quiet workplace with computer, books, work documents, etc.), which are always available when lessons are limited, and if necessary, fixed coaching and learning hours with children should be agreed. If there is a need for care or as a safe social place, the school should be open to the children at all times. "No getting rid of parents, no getting confirmations of 'indispensability in the workplace', no restraining children, no talk of 'emergency'."

Teaching and supervision should also take place outdoors as much as possible in order to avoid infections. In addition, small groups of four children should be formed in each class with the involvement of the parents, who can serve as a "communication cell", learning network, social reference group and - by ensuring that there are enough "competent adults" in each group - a care network if school operations are restricted . (APA, July 10, 2020)