Outrage after elementary school announcement – SWR Aktuell

The teachers of Baden-Württemberg are angry because the head of the government sees shortcomings in the quality of teaching. There is support from the opposition.

Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) is under fire in a row over more teachers in primary schools. Gerhard Brand, regional head of the VBE teachers’ association, took an unusually tough approach after Kretschmann blamed the poor results of primary school students in a recent study on the quality of teaching.

“It was a typical Kretschmann. speak first, think later,” says Brand from the German Press Agency in Stuttgart. The opposite would be better. Even when last pushing for more part-time teachers, the head of government pounced and later had to scale back.


Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann is gesticulating.  (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, Bernd Weißbrod)

Prime Minister Kretschmann proposed longer working hours for civil servants and part-time teachers. Therefore, the proposal is already under consideration. There is a strong headwind.

Brand: Kretschmann without knowing about everyday school life

VBE chief Brand complained that after decades in politics, Kretschmann (74), a trained teacher, clearly had no idea about everyday school life.

“He (Krechtman) understands what’s going on in the classroom these days as well as a brick in swimming.”

Brand believes that understaffing in primary schools is the main reason for the further decline. He asked Kretschmann. “Create a quantitative background first, then you’ll be surprised how qualitative the training can be.” In many primary schools, the situation is now such that classes have to be combined and classes canceled due to lack of staff.

A student points to Feldstrasse in an elementary school classroom.  Classes have started after the summer holidays for around 2.5 million schoolchildren in North Rhine-Westphalia.  (to dpalnw. "Beginning of the new academic year.  With coronavirus and lack of personnel") (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, photo alliancedpa Oliver Berg)

Fourth graders in Hamburg have seen a marked improvement in education over ten years. Today, BW is second only to Hamburg in terms of reading ability in primary schools. How did Hamburg do it?

SWR1 Baden-Württemberg

SWR1 Baden-Württemberg

Ruelke: Kretschmann “confused with statements”.

“I can absolutely sympathize with Mr. Brand’s anger,” BW-FDP faction leader Hans-Ulrich Rülke said on Saturday. Instead of admitting mistakes in education policy, Kretschmann insults all primary school teachers with his “confused statements”. “Green ideologies have shaped school policy in our country for years, although we need effective education policy based on reality.” SPD faction leader Andreas Stoch called Kretschmann’s statement foolish. “It shows great ignorance when the prime minister simply considers the lack of professors as “old people” and only wants to talk about the quality of teaching.

State President of the Association for Education and Training Baden-Württemberg (VBE) Gerhard Brand (Photo: VBE Baden-Württemberg)

Gerhard Brand, state president of the Baden-Württemberg Association for Education and Training (VBE) (archive picture)

VBE Baden-Württemberg

Teachers answer “Are you still okay?”

Referring to the government, Brand further complained that it was running one “emergency plan” after another. The coronavirus epidemic is not over yet, and then came the children who escaped from Ukraine. “Without these emergencies, we are already very short-staffed.” Instead of criticizing the quality of teaching, Kretschmann should have thanked the teachers for their commitment. To the statement of the head of the government, many teachers would have responded to the question “Is it still good?” responded. What Kretschmann said is “nonsense”.

The head of the association appealed to Kretschmann and Education Minister Theresa Schopper (Greens) to give the people of Baden-Württemberg a clean slate when it comes to the work of primary school students. “It won’t get better anytime soon.”

The massive teacher shortage is likely to be exacerbated by a wave of retirements that will peak in 2025. The number of graduates will not be enough to fill this gap. “We have to be prepared that it will take us five to ten years to overcome the shortage of teachers.” Politicians must admit. “At the moment we are not making any progress and we cannot maintain the level.”


Teacher writes words in elementary school "Sp" first on the board.  (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, Picture Alliance)

Baden-Württemberg Prime Minister Kretschmann is concerned about the poor performance of elementary school students in Baden-Württemberg. But he also warns against entrenched solutions.

SWR News Baden-Württemberg


Kretschmann. “More teachers will not solve the problem”

On Tuesday, Kretschmann was “deeply concerned” about the poor performance of many elementary school students, a new study found. However, the Greens politician warned against constantly calling for more teachers. It’s “always the same, it has nothing to do with the problem”. It is not about the number of teachers, but about the quality of teaching.


A teacher stands at the blackboard in front of the class (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, picture alliance/dpa | Philipp von Ditfurth)

In Baden-Württemberg, immediately after the school started, 900 student positions were still vacant. In an SWR interview, Education Minister Shoper explains why this is and what needs to be done about it.

Good morning Baden-Württemberg

SWR1 Baden-Württemberg

He reminded that after the study crash of 2016, the country established two scientific institutes and took a number of measures to strengthen the basic skills of German and mathematics.

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