In view of Berlin's shortage of teachers, an elementary school in Prenzlauer Berg wants to break new ground. According to a concept developed by the school's management, classes are to start half an hour later and school hours are to be shortened from 45 to 40 minutes, as reported by the "Berliner Morgenpost."
In this way, it should be possible to maintain the overall teaching offer at the elementary school at Kollwitzplatz, even with scarce teaching staff resources. "The implementation of the concept is planned for the coming school year and will be accompanied by an evaluation at the end of the two semesters," the newspaper quotes from a letter from the school management to parents.
The regular start of classes is to be postponed to 8:30 a.m. This is because the staffing problems are more serious at the first hour, because many part-time teachers are not yet able to place their own children in care at this early hour.
However, the shortening of the teaching hours should not stop there. As the letter quoted goes on to say, the school wants to teach in double lessons of 80 minutes in future so as not to fragment the learning content. "Experiences from schools that already practice block teaching show that the larger clock units are an advantage," it says. "The lessons allow for a more intensive examination of the learning content in one piece."
Ultimately, therefore, it is not a question of less teaching, but only of a redistribution. Support lessons and the class council lesson, which will be compulsory from the coming school year, would not have to be deducted from the subject lessons of the class leader as a result.
The new concept is not yet a done deal: the overall conference and the school conference still have to agree. The education administration told the newspaper that the schools could determine the starting school period themselves by school conference resolution.
According to Education Senator Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD), Berlin is expected to be short 920 teachers in the coming school year. The red-green-red coalition is therefore already discussing a reduction in the timetable, i.e. fewer compulsory hours in certain subjects. Busse, however, rejects this.
Photo by Gautam Arora