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It is not enough for education to create more vacancies. These vacancies must also be filled and, at the moment, we do not have that staff.    – Yvonne Gebauer, Minister of Education NRW –


It was a sobering summary, the Minister of Education Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) drew on the 5th Rheydter Schlossgespräche, this time under the slogan „When will NRW be in the fore again in terms of education?“. Since 2013 this format is hosted by IP2 and the colleagues of Executives Online.

For the anniversary event, this time around 100 guests came to the Knights‘ Hall of Schloss Rheydt to get an insight into the educational concept of the new state government. And the messages were clear and not always optimistic: there are currently more than 2,000 open teacher posts in NRW, half of them in elementary schools. A huge problem, especially if you actually had to reduce the class sizes. But the market currently does not give the required staff as the teacher study was too unattractive for far too long, especially for the primary level. Even unconventional solutions hardly catch on: of the 2,400 upper secondary teacher training candidates who were supposed to help out with two years of elementary education and receive a guarantee of employment, so far only 130 have been in the affirmative; Sixty contracts have been signed. Another problem is the nationwide inclusion agreed by the red-green predecessor government, for which, however, no staff, and especially no sufficiently trained staff is available. Clear message from the Minister: the project will continue, but with the speed at which resources are available. Moreover, a sober accounting of the class failure is on her to-do list, which is sure to be many pages long.


Panel discussion: Richter, Kiehne, Gebauer, Silbernagel, Stegemerten


In the panel discussion moderated by RP Managing Editor Denisa Richter and attended by the minister, the head of staff of Atelier Gardeur Anja Kiehne, the chairman of the philologist association Peter Silbernagel and the vice president of the Niederrhein University Berthold Stegemerten, further deficits were named. Kiehne criticized poor school equipment and frustrated teachers. „In addition to better knowledge in German and mathematics, I would like to have more general education and a subject such as lifestyle“ she said. Also Stegemerten had a wish: “ Where A-leel is indicated, A-level has to be in.“ Who starts with a degree should already know the basic arithmetic and the rule of three. Too much would be imposed on the universities when it comes to training high school graduates for university. Peter Silbernagel claimed a stronger collaboration between parents and school: „It cannot be right that children on a school trip experience for the first time what it’s like to have a meal together.“


Yvonne Gebauer and Bernd Fabry


All participants agreed that nothing could change the future of our society and of our working life like digitalization. „Only with sustainable investment in education and training, we will have a chance to reduce the unavoidable job losses in the low-paid sector,“ said Stegemerten. And Gebauer added „But that only works if everyone works together. It does not help if we put fast internet in every school and no one is there who makes good use of this tool „.

Conclusion: There is much to do.

Perhaps a wisdom from Confucius helps: „Even the longest path begins with a first step“.

See also: http://m.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/moenchengladbach/experten-fordern-mehr-allgemeinbildung-aid-1.7318416

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