Only school work helps with truancy

Parents of schoolchildren should receive less social benefits, demanded CDU general secretary Paul Ziemiak in “Focus”, followed by teacher association president Heinz-Peter Meidinger.

That was in early November there was no really current reason for Ziemiak's advance.

Conversely, of course, one could say: There are always current occasions to deal with supposedly indifferent parents harder. There is something captivating about the narrative: Many people don't care about their children so much that you can only get them with their own money.

Even worse: Instead of becoming the teachers' most important ally in the struggle for their children's educational opportunities, some parents even insult and threaten the educators.

The desire for greater involvement of the parents mostly remains a dream

What was really surprising about Ziemiak's comment was how little public response it generated Has. Although the “Focus” supported them with the statistics – although without absolute numbers – that the number of schoolchildren in Hamburg within one year increased by 22, 5 percent has increased, in Thuringia it has even doubled in seven years.

And although according to the Pisa study published shortly before Christmas, social origin in Germany plays a major role in the question of who can read how well.

Whoever talks to the teachers at focus schools does not get the impression that there is less frustration with said parents. But most teachers also know that the desire for a larger parent engagement is similar to the dream of summer sun in January.

Many parents do not support their children, because they can't

why? Because parents (apart from the admittedly not a few pathological cases) do not support their children out of bad will where they should support them. But because they simply cannot do it better. Because they lack education themselves. Because they are sick, suffer from trauma. Because studies show that our society still makes it more difficult for immigrants to integrate than others.

Like Paul Ziemiak to claim that these parents would have to be forced to cooperate by reducing the child benefit, the complexity corresponds roughly to the statement that most Harz IV recipients simply wanted to do not go to work.

Unser Kolumnist Jan-Martin Wiarda.

Our columnist Jan-Martin Wiarda. Photo: private

[Der Autor ist Journalist für Bildung und lebt in Berlin. Auf seinem Blog kommentiert er aktuelle Ereignisse in Schulen und Hochschulen.]

In January, very few in this country would wear swimming trunks permanently run around and nurture their indignation at the cold. Most would buy a suitable jacket sooner or later and make the best of the situation. Most schools do the same.

In the past few years you have realized that successful educational work at focus schools is also work with parents. Instead of repeatedly having families feel drastic demands and punishments, there are language courses for parents, mothers' cafes, school social workers who make home visits.

This is a tough job for schools and their colleges – and yet without an alternative.

It is cheaper to scold the parents

Fortunately, most politicians have also received this message. At least one could interpret the fact that in the post-Pisa weeks there was so little paranoia and so much of the political responsibility to reduce the influence of the family home on educational success.

That this does not work better has something to do with the causality just described. The necessary work with parents costs a lot of staff and money. And both of our society does not allow the schools that need it the most. Some people then obviously find it cheaper to scold their parents.

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