The German teaching union has calculated that 118 billion euros need to be invested in German schools over the next ten years in order to solve numerous problems such as a shortage of teachers, dilapidated buildings and out-of-date technology.
Union president Heinz-Peter Meidinger fears that without such investment schools will fall further behind and that problems in the education system will increase. The acute shortage of teachers – a shortfall of up to 40,000 teachers according to Meidinger’s estimate – could lead to a considerable reduction in pupil performance. ‘It is probable that important knowledge will not be properly taught, particularly at primary level’ warns Meidinger. ‘It will be no surprise if Germany’s performance in international comparison tests such as Pisa falls sharply in the next few years.’
According to Meidinger the sum of 118 billion euros would cover the following points:
- Renovation and refurbishment of old and dilapidated school buildings and construction of new buildings – this is projected to cost 48 billion euros
- More teachers – this requires an investment of 40 billion euros
- Improvements and expansion to digital infrastructures – 20 billion euros would enable schools to catch up in terms of technical facilities and didactic concepts
- Educators and social workers – 10 billion euros should be deployed for integration and inclusion measures.
This equates to additional costs of almost 12 billion euros per year says Meidinger in an interview with FOCUS magazine. ‘In terms of the scope of government, state and local authority budgets, this is definitely a representative and achievable sum’.
Editorial staff (alb)