Child and Corona - when education becomes a game of chance

How the Corona crisis is increasing educational inequality

Article was written on 02.06.2020 by Ina and Katharina.

In Germany every child has the same right to "education and participation". This means that everyone should be given a fair chance of a good future by law. Since Corona, however, parents have had to absorb, besides job and household, what school and day-care have done so far. The conditions for the future of children could not be more unequal.

Child and Corona - when education becomes a game of chance

Jonas, Shirin and Hassan - three children, three unequal chances:

  1. It's no coincidence that Jonas is going to grammar school. His parents went to university and his grandfather also went to university. His parents work as lawyers in the home office and if he has questions about homework, they can help him. Otherwise, they said, they also pay him for online tutoring. He also has his own computer.

  1. Shirin is in the third grade of primary school and wants to go to grammar school. She is a good student. Because of Corona, she is dependent on the help of her older sister at home, who has a tablet. She is lucky that she can explain the schoolwork to her on it, because her single mother speaks little German.

  1. Hassan goes to a high school and is a diligent student. His parents are proud of him. Because they work in shifts, there's often no one around to ask if there are problems. His brother needs the laptop to work. Hassan has hardly any opportunities to exchange ideas with his classmates or teachers. In fact, he hasn't understood the school material for weeks. He feels increasingly helpless.

The importance of the parental home for the future of children

Corona shows it clearly: Those who were previously disadvantaged are particularly at risk due to the limited operation of day-care centres and schools. The equal opportunities that the educational system has been able to ensure up to now are often no longer available due to the regulations surrounding Corona. Pupils who can get little or no personal support for their schoolwork at home quickly lose touch with their fellow pupils.

Is digital education the solution for better educational opportunities?

If you have access to it, digital teaching is a valuable tool. However, for children like Shirin and Hassan, it is a hurdle because their families cannot afford to buy their own computers or tablets. Others lack a powerful Internet. Digital homework checks, educational videos on YouTube or video calls with teachers are reserved for families that are better off anyway.

This enables parents to improve their children's educational prospects:

A big step has been taken when parents do not blame themselves for not being able to support their children better by their own efforts. In times of Corona many parents are already on the edge of their capabilities due to multiple stress. They deserve support and professional advice that suits their individual situation at home.

Parents in crisis: we offer our help!

If you are concerned about your child's education, contact us! We will help you find new ways to get through this difficult time with your family. Write to us! redaktion@elternhotline.de. Soon we will also be available by phone, the number will be published on our website.


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