After the turmoil caused by Corona this school year, many Berlin schoolchildren will have the opportunity to catch up on missed material in summer vacation schools. As part of an action program "Catching up after Corona", trips and other measures are also planned to strengthen children and young people psychosocially, said Education Senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD) to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
In the course of the vacation schools are thus planned during the summer vacations (June 24 to August 6) alone at general schools about 800 learning groups with thousands of students. The programs - usually courses lasting several weeks - are aimed at grades 1 to 3, 7 and 8, and 9 to 13.
Staff from education providers will teach younger children mainly reading, arithmetic and writing. For older students, the focus is on support in subjects relevant to exams, such as German, mathematics and the first foreign language. Participation in the vacation school is voluntary.
"It is important to me that all types of schools and all schools are reached so that the learning gaps caused by the pandemic can be made up," Scheeres said. In addition, there would be vacation schools for young people at vocational schools. Berlin wants to make advance payments here and use funds from a federal program. Berlin has also been able to raise EU funds for the programs.
The action program also provides for a strengthening of children's and youth recreational facilities, as Scheeres explained. An additional three million euros are expected to be made available for this purpose. Among other things, language, sports and education-oriented trips are to be offered - especially for socially disadvantaged young people.
"After more than a year in which children and young people were severely restricted in their social encounters as a result of the Corona pandemic, offers of recreation for children and young people are also particularly important for coping with the consequences of the pandemic," Scheeres said. "These offerings provide recreation, relaxation and exercise, and contact with peers."
The current 2020/21 school year is marked by corona-related restrictions. First, schools were almost completely closed for about two months starting in mid-December as part of the lockdown. They gradually reopened starting Feb. 22, using the alternating instruction model. Students alternate learning in small groups in the classroom and at home with the help of digital solutions. In many cases, this results in learning deficits.
Last summer, the education authorities had already made more offers in the course of the vacation school than in previous years - even then after weeks of school closures due to Corona. Interest was very high: 11,500 students took part, as well as a number of vocational school students. Thousands of students also took part during the fall and winter vacations.