The election was repeated in Berlin. Main topic: education policy. Troubled schools, integration or lack of teachers: the capital has more than one problem.
“We were told in the first semester that teaching is the profession with the highest risk of burnout,” says student teacher Katharina Schorn.
10,000 teachers missing
Schorn studies at the Free University in Berlin. She wants to be a primary school teacher and is therefore a sought-after specialist. In addition to her education, the prospective teacher is already working in a school as there is a shortage of 10,000 teachers nationwide. The Education Ministers Conference should have foreseen this. He was too late.
“Well, this problem has been obvious for a long time, you should have taken a look at it,” explains Astrid Busse (SPD), Senator for Schools in Berlin and President of the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) since January.
Busse was not responsible when important decisions were not made. However, what KMK has recently proposed as a solution to the teacher shortage does not seem desperate and realistic. Teachers should be retired, foreign experts should be hired, more career changers should be acquired, teachers should work longer and teach more.
“All this makes the teaching profession even less attractive,” said Heinz-Peter Meininger, president of the teachers’ association, “the potential for career change has actually been exhausted.” You will probably have to live with famine over the next few years. “Because there aren’t enough teachers coming from universities,” Meidinger says.
Berlin is not particularly attractive
Meanwhile, the election campaign in the capital continues in full force, and the New Year’s Eve events have brought the issue of integration to the surface. Local politicians are also now happy to call for better support for immigrants and immigrants in schools.
However, given the current teacher shortage, this may only be wishful thinking. In the 22/23 school year, 14,000 teachers are missing in Berlin, particularly at primary and secondary level. Berlin in particular has long been viewed as an unattractive employer for teachers. Although the country is now civil servants again, many people still find it unattractive to work in so-called hotspot schools.
In addition, the construction of the new school lay in the capital. The so-called school building initiative has been around since 2016, but construction and energy costs are delaying expansion and making it more expensive. As a result, there is no money for urgent renovations. Across the city, more school places are in danger of disappearing due to the lack of renovation.
School place lottery in the capital
About 20,000 school places are already missing in Berlin. As a result, classes are getting bigger, especially in primary school. A targeted promotion of weak students is often unlikely.
Kids like Eleonore suffer from it. He is in the second grade and has a learning disability. “I just can’t keep up with the math,” she says. Eleonore has special needs but her school is borderline. Therefore, the eight-year-old class will repeat.
Renovation accumulation, very small classrooms, very narrow corridors: Inadequate technical equipment does not make the work of schools easier. Added to this is the overhead of the Ukrainian children they are happy to help out in Berlin.
No matter which party wins in the capital on February 12, 2023, and which coalition comes to power afterwards, everyone will have to deal with and manage this educational misery. A possible development in Berlin is only realistic from 2026.
The right to education – what about quality?
There is a right to school education and compulsory education in Germany. There is no right to quality education. The teacher shortage and the resulting educational misery will not be resolved in the near future.
As a result, a child’s educational development in Germany remains largely dependent on his or her origin, more than in almost any other European country. A country that primarily relies on bright minds continues to miss ship when it comes to education. And his capital is with him.
I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.