School in lockdown: Baden-Württemberg does not take a special route

AIn the end, the fear of the virus was too great: Because of the ongoing corona risk, Baden-Württemberg has decided not to take a special route and is now closing primary schools and daycare centers at least until the end of January. “We are still at a high level of infections,” said Baden-Wuerttemberg Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) on Thursday in Stuttgart. He therefore agreed with the Minister of Culture, Susanne Eisenmann (CDU), to forego the planned relaxation and not to open the facilities. However, an opening perspective for elementary schools and daycare centers should be developed, should the lockdown apply beyond January.

“We didn’t make it easy for ourselves,” said Kretschmann in a video announcement. “And we know we are demanding a lot from you.” Baden-Württemberg will insist that the issue of opening up primary schools and daycare centers should also be discussed with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) at the next switching conference between the Prime Ministers.

The federal government in particular has repeatedly spoken out against reopening schools soon. The conference is to be brought forward from the originally planned January 25 to next week, also because of the risk of new virus variants.

Eisenmann, however, was openly critical. The Prime Minister made the decision, she emphasized and added: “I would have liked a differentiated approach.” Children needed a social structure and care. “Children need other children,” said Eisenmann. She suggested opening daycare centers and the first two classes of primary schools in the coming week and teaching at a distance. In a second step, classes three and four could have started.

The minister of education, who is also the CDU’s top candidate for the state elections in March, has repeatedly and vehemently pushed for an opening in the interests of children in recent weeks. She actually wanted to open primary schools and daycare centers last Monday – “regardless of the incidence figures”.

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