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Lower Saxony and Bremen: Minister of Education: Primary classes without a mask

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Lower Saxony and Bremen
Minister of Education: Primary classes without a mask

Despite the increasing number of corona infections, the regulations in many areas of life are being relaxed even further. Masks will soon be compulsory in primary schools as well. That’s right, according to the Lower Saxony Minister of Education. But not everyone sees it that way.

Hannover (dpa / lni) – In Lower Saxony’s primary schools, pupils will no longer have to wear a mask instead during class from next Monday. “Even in the current situation, this is a justifiable and correct relaxation,” Education Minister Grant Hendrik Tonne (SPD) confirmed to the German Press Agency on Monday. By the way, this is a nationwide development in elementary schools. However, the Science and Education Union (GEW) and the Greens warned that the move was too soon.

Tonne also referred to pedagogical reasons: “Above all with a view to making things easier for each child, but also for the development of language and non-verbal communication, I think this step is important and correct”. GEW State President Holger Westphal is not looking forward to it yet. “The pedagogical arguments to eliminate the obligation to wear masks weigh especially in primary school, but health protection weighs even more at this time,” he said when asked by dpa.

Only when the corona pandemic is really in retreat should there be relaxation in the classroom. The incidence in Lower Saxony is close to the 1400 mark, and is even twice as high in children aged six to eleven.

The leader of the green parliamentary group, Julia Willie Hamburg, said that the exit plan of the Ministry of Education, which was actually prudent, cannot yet come into force because the corona numbers do not indicate any relaxation at all.

In Lower Saxony, the figures continue without falling. “In this sense, it would make sense to continue providing small but effective protective measures until the incidence of infection has been reduced, and not fight the pandemic according to schedule.”

The school policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Björn Försterling, described the relaxation of the mask requirement as correct. “Masks not only put pressure on children, they also make learning difficult. This is especially true when learning a language, where it is also visually important to see how sounds are pronounced.” However, in this case, multiple tests per week should be maintained.

At the same time, Tonne criticized the federal government’s draft of a new infection protection law. This would take the most effective protection measure out of the hands of the federal states: “It is absolutely incomprehensible what the federal government was thinking when it comes to masks. With the draft of the new Infection Protection Law, from the beginning of April we no longer have the option to wear the mask at school so they can wear it as needed,” says Tonne.

He asked the federal government to adapt the draft so that the federal states could also order the mask in schools if the development of the pandemic required it. “If that doesn’t happen, from the beginning of April we would depend on him volunteering and, especially when moving around the school building, we would promote mask wearing.”

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