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“Improving School”

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Wilhelm Hogrefe is a member of Lower Saxony’s state parliament in Hanover. His constituency is Verden. He is also chairman of the district school committee.

Germany’s federal government will offer an amount of about 900 mn Euros, provided that Lower Saxony will add 300 mn from its own coffers. And the federal government rules that 65% of the package have to be spent on education.

Mr Hogrefe wants to call a study group, and he has some suggestions for its agenda already. The study group should agree to improving school lessons and school equipment. Interactive blackboards (called whiteboard when interactive) would come at 1.5 mn Euros if introduced in all the district’s schools.

Besides, Mr Hogrefe calls for a Region of Learning under the auspices of the regional Adult Education Centre and the regional Vocational School.
And he wants better-trained teachers, especially in the field of media competence.

No question – he is making all the right suggestions. All the right suggestions to get re-elected, that is. If this leads to better education is a different story.

Media-competent teachers? Chances are that teachers know when it is time to switch off television – or the internet – and get to work themselves. They could teach children a good deal about that, if only it was their business, and not the parents’ business. That’s media competence.
Inter-active whiteboards? Cool! Old-fashioned Chalkboards might look like work and discourage the poor children.

Last but not least, Mr Hogrefe would like to encourage teachers, students, parents and  vocational instructors to take part in an ideas competition.
Yes, even teachers!

What’s wrong with that? Is this another frustrated teacher who refuses to improve his professional skills? Not at all. Let me put it this way: school in Germany works best where parents have less of a say.
But asking only teachers wouldn’t get Mr Hogrefe re-elected. He’s doing nothing wrong. He only shows us once again what is wrong with our educational system.

What a bummer about the money. And the students. You bet they won’t be much smarter in ten years. Not thanks to this investment programme anyway.


P.S.: JR has an interesting Chinese take on Western fun-schooling there.


Written by taide

February 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

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