Education plans of the future coalition are causing criticism


A teacher writes on the blackboard in a school. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / dpa / symbol image

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

The topic of education was a central part of the election campaign in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The weak points were identified. The future coalition of the SPD and the Left wants to set the course for improvements in its program. But many are disappointed.

Schwerin (dpa / mv) – More teachers, a reform of the teacher training course, more study places – the future red-red coalition wants to combat the shortage of teachers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and improve teaching with a whole range of measures. But the details that were announced after the coalition round on the subject of education in Schwerin on Saturday caused long faces among experts. Of the 1000 additional teacher positions announced at the beginning, fewer than 500 remained, said the CDU parliamentary group leader in the state parliament, Franz-Robert Liskow, on Sunday.

According to the parliamentary group leader of the Left in the state parliament, Simone Oldenburg, who is being acted as the future Minister of Education, 250 of the 1000 announced positions already exist, but which are currently not filled. A further 280 are therefore already limited to 2024. They are to be extended to an unlimited period. Another 270 jobs are to be created due to the increasing number of students.

According to an initial analysis by the teachers’ union GEW, the plans of Rot-Rot do not bring more time for lessons and for pedagogically supported learning as hoped. In addition, 50 positions would be created for substitute teachers and 150 for vocational school teachers, declared the two state chairmen Annett Lindner and Maik Walm. This is welcomed by the GEW. “In conclusion, the central question remains how we can make the school workstation much more attractive for educators with collective bargaining agreements and civil servants, so that we can actually fill vacancies.”

Oldenburg announced that it intends to reform its teaching degree to make it easier to study and to create more study places for educators in Greifswald. In addition, a shortening of the legal traineeship for prospective teachers in MV is to be examined. The German Realschullehrerverband criticized the latter heavily. The federal chairman Jürgen Böhm explained that it was a “cost-saving measure in disguise” and would not counteract the shortage of teachers. The legal clerkship is the second important phase of teacher training and prepares prospective teachers intensively for their later work. This forms the basis for high quality teaching.

The CDU politician Liskow has also expressed doubts about the cost of 84 million euros for the teacher package mentioned by Oldenburg. These costs lack honesty, he said. “Possibly a first hint that Red-Red has come to terms with the fact that the Corona Protection Fund could fail as a source of funding.”

The reason is that the State Court of Justice in Hesse has classified the state’s Corona special fund there as unconstitutional. The structure of the Hessian Corona special fund and the special fund MV-Schutzfonds are “relatively similar” according to the Union. Liskow warned that the credit authorizations in the MV protection fund should only be issued for measures that are clearly related to coping with the pandemic. In addition, they should only be used to the extent that is absolutely necessary.

The MV protection fund, for which, according to the state parliament resolution, loans of up to EUR 2.85 billion may be taken out, is the subject of a lawsuit by the AfD parliamentary group before the state constitutional court in Greifswald. The AfD doubts that such a large sum is necessary. The State Audit Office had also criticized the high level of new debt.

Further details of the coalition negotiations concern the creation of working time accounts for teachers. With additional hours worked, they could retire earlier or be less stressed at the end of their working life. Furthermore, there should be no minimum number of students for grades 1 and 5. Schools will no longer be closed due to insufficient student numbers. “We have a permanent security of the school locations,” said Oldenburg.

Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) emphasized that Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania should remain a strong university location. It should be checked whether another university is possible in Schwerin. However, this should not be at the expense of the other locations. The future coalition also wants to strengthen the culture in the country. “For us, culture is just as much a part of the country as our Baltic Sea,” said Schwesig. The theater pact will remain secure until 2028. “This means that there is planning security and good theater in the theater landscape too, and no theater about money.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211031-99-809589 / 3