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Abitur exams should take place: Berlin Senator for Education does not want an Abitur – Berlin

The wait has come to an end: Education Senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD) decided on Friday that the Abitur should be carried out as planned after the Easter holidays. Accordingly, the schools should be thoroughly disinfected beforehand and various precautionary measures taken: “The exams are taking place,” said Scheeres on Friday morning in the Red Town Hall.

The state student committee and the large associations of high school and secondary school leaders had previously spoken out in favor of doing without the exams for the secondary school leaving certificate and the Abitur. Instead, the Abitur grade should be based on the course grades from the four semesters.


The outrage was correspondingly great when Scheeres’ statement was announced at noon. “The corona crisis strikes us pupils. We do not want to and will not take the risk of taking high school exams,” said a statement by the State Schools Committee. The decision of the senator was “disrespectful”.

“We won’t hold the students back”

The panel leaves no doubt that it will not come to terms with this: “We would like to have made it very clear, since we will no longer prevent disappointed, angry or frustrated students from protesting against the senator,” writes the elected Student representation. State student spokesman Miguel Góngora adds: “But I would also like to make it clear that the country student committee itself will not be satisfied with this decision.”

The fact that the committee describes the prevailing opinion well can be seen in statements made by numerous representatives of schoolchildren and parents on Friday, including the Schöneberg Sophie Scholl School.

A parent representative appeals to the ministers of culture

“It is not a question of Berlin going a special route, but that in this exceptional situation the ministers of culture leave the federal patchwork and speak with one voice for a Notabitur in Germany,” said Nicole Andries, one of the parents spokesmen of the 13th year.

The school is particularly stressed because there was an early Corona case. About two thirds of the approximately 130 high school graduates this year turned to the Federal Minister of Education, the Chair of the Conference of Ministers of Education and to Scheeres with an appeal to cancel the exams on Friday.

They refer to chronically ill classmates, to the general risk of infection – also due to the way to school by public transport – but also to other problems. Much of the parents were put on short-time work: “some are afraid of being fired or have no income due to independence” This economic need affects almost every second person: “This scares us and is very stressful for us,” write the high school graduates in the letter that is in the Tagesspiegel.

Vocational students speak out

“The current planning of the exam dates is intolerable,” wrote the senior year of the high school of the Max Bill School, a high school center. It was “simply impossible at the moment to prepare adequately for the upcoming high school exams”.

The German Association of Philologists wrote that it did not trust the “sanitary framework”. The necessary protective measures for the educational staff also did not appear to be secured. This included “disinfection of the technical devices and the rooms to be used, disinfectants, disposable gloves and, if necessary, nose and mouth masks”, says board member Ferdinand Horbat. The association demands that MSA exams be dropped at least in high schools in order to reduce the correction burden.

Who does not have to write everything down

In order to reduce the health risks, the education administration has made stipulations that Scheeres’ department heads have had sent to schools since the morning. On the day of the exam, students are excluded from the exams – and aReference is made to rewrite dates – If you:

  • have returned from abroad within the last 14 days or
  • were in contact with returnees or
  • Had contact with infected people or
  • currently have (cold) symptoms or
  • belong to a risk group and for this reason it is advisable not to attend the main appointment.

When reading this, some teachers asked themselves which pupils would have to appear for the Abitur in view of such a broad formulation. Especially since the head of the department also said that those who had an “increased body temperature, i.e. a temperature higher than 37 degrees” without further symptoms, had a reason “not to appear at school for the exam”.

In addition, several teachers were angry or concerned about the letter. A particular lack of understanding caused the fact that the Berlin schools were informed so late: Scheeres’ Brandenburg counterpart Britta Ernst (SPD) had had the corresponding letter with instructions sent on Thursday.

Disinfectant! Which disinfectant?

The next trouble came when I read it. And that was also due to the following passage: “Disinfectants must be provided in advance. Ensure school cleaning and disinfection of rooms, doors, in particular door handles, and furniture and other aids in advance, so that compliance with hygienic conditions before, during and after tests is guaranteed . “

“We only have two bottles of disinfectant. We got them ourselves,” complained a Pankow teacher. Otherwise, the department head recommended the following security measures:

  • Plan the rooms for the tests in such a way that, depending on the size of the room, the distance rules are adhered to and not more than eight – in exceptional cases with simultaneous testing of an entire year, e.g. At the MSA, a maximum of ten people – be in a room the size of a normal classroom at the same time.
  • In smaller rooms, e.g. Preparation rooms for the Abitur exams, the number of people must be reduced accordingly. The students’ workplaces should be two meters apart. The minimum distance of 1.5 meters must be guaranteed.
  • Plan the arrival of the students at a later time than the respective exam date and inform them of the times in a suitable form (e.g. staggered every 10 minutes).
  • To support the supervision, distance markings in front of the school’s entrance area can make it easier to keep the distance.
  • All supervisory plans must be adapted to the new conditions: e.g. B. by supervisors who control the entry and exit of the school building as widely as possible to different entrances and exits.
  • In the school yard, all paths and stairwells, as in all rooms, a distance of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained.
  • Aids, paper, the issuance of examination documents and the submission of the work must be prepared in such a way that contact with other people can be largely avoided (e.g. through prepared filing tables).

A number of high school graduates want the exams

However, there is also agreement: an estimated one third of the high school graduates had positioned themselves in advance of canceling the exams and should therefore now be relieved that they take place. There are also overtones from the FDP. We have to do everything we can to ensure that the pupils and the teaching staff do not endanger themselves at any time and that a high school diploma can be taken without external circumstances influencing the results, “demands FDP education politician Paul Fresdorf. Everything seems” difficult at the moment Fresdorf believes it would make more sense to postpone the exam dates at the present time.

However, Berlin does not have much time: The summer vacation starts at the end of June and due to a lot of rewriting appointments there is a problem with the organization as long as you want to keep the vacation date. There are individual demands to postpone the start of the holiday. However, the consequences are warned: This would result in cancellation costs if families booked their vacation. You might also want to finally make up for the lost Easter recovery.

“Brave and right”

“There is finally clarity for the schools and the graduates. The decision of the Senate to stick to the Abitur exams and not to give in to the pressure is brave and correct”, the Berlin education expert, teacher and specialist seminar director Robert Rauh, responded to Scheeres’ determination. “In their later applications to the universities, the students will still be happy that the Berlin special path discussed, a” Corona Abitur “without exams, has now been averted,” Rauh suspects.

Kiel special route did not come about

Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister of Education, Karin Prien (CDU), also voted for this so-called average high school diploma, also called “recognition high school diploma” or “emergency high school diploma” that students and school principals demand in Berlin. However, she had withdrawn this vote after a meeting of the Conference of Ministers of Culture on March 25th.

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