According to a survey by the digital industry association Bitkom, there has been great progress in digital learning. Meanwhile, the Association of Cities is urging that children and young people be relieved of the dangerous consequences of the pandemic.
Dhe IT industry association Bitkom, which for many years criticized the use of digital media in schools as completely inadequate, can obviously hardly believe its luck. On Wednesday, he presented a representative survey of parents of school-age children on the subject, which took place in February and March – and sees great progress that “would have been inconceivable without Corona,” as CEO Bernhard Rohleder said. The schools have changed a lot; If prior to Corona, learning was mainly done with blackboard and chalk, digitization has now “picked up real speed”.
Almost every parental home has learned digitally. 78 percent of the students used a digital device every day to study or to prepare for school, and 16 percent at least once a week. The 4 percent of students who would not have done this caused concern. In addition, 4 percent of school-age children and adolescents do not have a digital device at home. 63 percent, on the other hand, have one thing all to themselves, and one in five parents ‘homes is using one of their parents’ devices. According to the survey, the average screen learning time was 4 hours and 20 minutes a day – with a wide spread: in every fourth home it was more than 6 and in a similar number less than 3 hours.
In the time of the school closings, digital teaching offers found their way into parental homes, according to Bitkom. According to the survey, online lessons were held in nine out of ten households, in 83 percent it was video conferencing and in 77 percent even online classroom instruction. However, a parent survey carried out by the Ifo Institute in February and March showed that only a quarter of the pupils had daily lessons for the whole class, for example via video. Compared to spring 2020, however, that was a big increase. On the other hand, 39 percent only received video lessons at most once a week and almost exclusively had to work through the subject matter themselves.
City Council insists on help
Meanwhile, the City Council called on the federal government to support children and young people promptly with a 2 billion program. The cabinet resolution of a corona catch-up package, which provides for this amount, was postponed on Tuesday to probably next week. The aid program provides a billion for tutoring and support programs for schoolchildren at the state level, with the second billion to be used to expand programs that are intended to alleviate the social psychological consequences of the pandemic for children and adolescents.
City Council President Burkhard Jung insisted that the distribution of the money should be based on existing structures such as school social work and family support and that no new conditions should be set up for funding. This avoids further bureaucracy. The municipal structures are best suited and familiar with the respective situation, emphasized Vice President Markus Lewe: “We know our young people.”
Lewe advocated putting socially disadvantaged groups at the center of aid. Many of the current political decisions are “made on the basis of a comfort status”. Children from extremely cramped conditions needed more support, says Lewe. As a supplement to teaching, the Association of Cities therefore calls for “Study Halls” to be set up. There children should also be able to learn supervised outside of schools or do their homework. The space and the lack of technology should be made available in libraries, youth centers and cultural institutions, for example. Lewe named mentoring programs, neighborhood help and sports sponsorship projects as further models of help for children and young people.
Many participation programs have been idle for months, said Lewe. The pandemic situation creates “real life crises” and the psyche of children and adolescents is sometimes seriously affected. This also results in a much greater susceptibility to addictions. “It’s not just about catching up on learning gaps. We have to manage to pave the way back to a carefree growth for many, ”said Lewe.
Many could not make plans for the future because apprenticeships are harder to find and prospects are uncertain. “That leaves its mark on the body and soul of millions of children and young people.” The City Council is committed to expanding offers at the transition from school to work, including internships and orientation courses. The municipalities have a lot of experience here with the youth employment agencies, for example. But, according to Lewe: “We as municipalities will not be able to do it alone.