Lateral entrants in schools: "crimes against children"

The President of the Teachers’ Association, Meidinger, has sharply criticized the use of lateral entrants as teachers in schools. These are often insufficiently trained for this.

The President of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, has accused the federal states of insufficiently qualifying career changers in the teaching profession. In many places pedagogical laypeople would be let loose on pupils without adequate preparation and without quality assurance guidelines. That was "a crime against the children", said Meidinger of the "world".

"To train university graduates who have never heard of pedagogy and didactics to become primary school teachers in a crash course within two weeks, that’s absurd."

This shows how little the necessary professional professionalism is valued by politicians. In addition, there is "an insufficient number of training teachers" for lateral entrants. In the countries where the shortage is greatest, such as in Berlin and in some eastern federal states, the ministries are often not interested in properly training career changers because they cannot then be fully invested in the provision of lessons.

"In the medium term" you can’t do without it

The President of the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK), Hesse’s Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Alexander Lorz (CDU), however, told the same newspaper: "In the medium term, we will not be able to do without lateral entrants in some countries." He added: "We are aware that these must also be qualified accordingly." In the coming year, all countries would therefore "further intensify" their efforts to provide targeted further training and qualification for career changers.

"Not in the children’s sense"

Barbel Bas, deputy parliamentary group leader of the SPD in the Bundestag, said that it should not be "that more and more non-professional pedagogues are employed in schools. That is neither in the interests of the children nor the career changers themselves who want to do a good job as teachers." She called for binding standards for training and further education.

The education policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Thomas Sattelberger, also spoke out in favor of continuous educational training for career changers.

In Hamburg, every tenth high school graduate would have to become a teacher in order to meet the needs of the growing city, stressed Education Senator Ties Rabe. That is why he continued: "When things get particularly tight, it is certainly better to employ lateral entrants to a limited extent than to skip lessons."

Shortage of teachers nationwide

There is a great need for teachers all over Germany. The problem is likely to persist in the years to come. Reasons include retirement, rising birth rates and immigration.

A KMK forecast recently showed that bottlenecks in vocational schools and schools of lower secondary level (secondary schools and secondary schools) are to be expected by 2030.

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