In view of the massive problems in German schools and day care centers, a large alliance of foundations, associations and trade unions is urgently calling on the federal and state governments to implement far-reaching reforms.

The central challenges are the teacher shortage that has become apparent over the years, the failure to meet minimum standards for learning success, the sluggish digital transformation and unequal educational opportunities between children from rich and poor families. Complex bureaucracy and the bumpy cooperation between the federal, state and local governments are currently preventing noticeable improvements, according to the appeal published before the federal government’s education summit on Tuesday. Among others, nine large foundations as well as the teachers’ association and the trade unions GEW and Verdi are involved.

Serious grievances

Verdi criticized that the abuses were serious. “Hundreds of thousands of daycare places are missing and the daycare centers cannot fulfill their educational mandate due to staffing that is not suitable for children. This state of emergency is affecting primary schools and secondary schools,” it said. One consequence is that many young people still leave school without a school-leaving certificate. Opportunities and opportunities for children and young people continue to depend on where they live and on their social background. “It’s a scandal!” said deputy chairwoman Christine Behle.

The appeal states that the abuses endanger both the opportunities and rights of every young person and the future of our economy, society and democracy. “In order to bring about the urgently needed reform process, an initial spark is needed at the highest political levels.” From the point of view of the signatories, a large-scale national education summit, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the heads of government of the federal states, would send a strong signal.

Representatives from politics, science and civil society are coming together this Tuesday in Berlin for an education summit. The traffic light parties had agreed to a meeting under this title in their coalition agreement. The conference should deal with fundamental problems in education policy. However, the event has already been criticized in advance. Not only opposition politicians do not expect much from it.