According to bestselling author Juli Zeh (“Unterleuten”), there is a lack of willingness to spend enough money on schools in Germany. “On the one hand, the focus is on children today and sometimes they are literally turned into ego projects for their parents. On the other hand, the school system is being let to the dogs as if there were no tomorrow,” the mother of two told the German Press Agency before publication her new children’s book “It was that one”.

In it, Zeh and constitutional law professor Elisa Hoven use the example of a school class to show how society deals with law and justice. But the book also contains hidden criticism of the education system, with a shortage of teachers or a lack of technical equipment in schools.

Plenty of personal experience with the school system

Her criticism is not directed against the work of teachers, emphasized Zeh, who is known for interfering in political debates. “On the contrary, we admire how great work is still being done under such poor conditions,” she told the dpa. “We are taking aim at a society that constantly praises the well-being of the child, but is then unwilling to finance the education system.” She sees this as “bad hypocrisy” and also a “cardinal political mistake.”

When writing the book, she and Hoven could have drawn on their own experiences. “It’s all taken directly from life,” says Zeh. Hoven’s husband is a high school teacher, her own children go to elementary school. “We had a wealth of absurd episodes at our disposal that we could use in funny ways.”

In the book, for example, the smartboard at a school has been broken for weeks or a laptop cable is missing. Instead of teaching, the teacher shows films. In addition, lessons are canceled because the substitute teacher is not there again.