This is how the May Day rally in Neuss went

May Day rally in Neuss
Call for more digitization in schools

Accompanied by many prominent local politicians, the Education and Science Union (GEW) was on the market square in Neuss with a symbolic educational construction site at the DGB rally on May 1 and informed about the deficits of educational institutions . What educators asked for.

The Education and Science Union (GEW) also stopped in Neuss on Labor Day on Sunday with its “Education at the construction site” campaign. “Equal pay for equal work, more teachers in schools, nationwide digitization and a real social index” – this is how Caroline Lensing, president of the GEW of the district association of Neuss , sums up the demands of her union, which she addresses to state and city politics .

The union set up its educational construction site on Sunday afternoon at the Neusser Markt on the occasion of the gathering of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) in the Neuss district association, during which the candidates for the elections of the State of Neuss Jörg Geerlings (CDU), Arno Jansen (SPD), Susanne Benary (Greens) and Falk vom Dorff (Die Linke) were present. With this emblematic project, the education union wants to draw attention to the shortcomings and deficits of educational institutions and discuss good education with politicians and citizens.


A “No to War” banner was also unfurled at Sunday’s rally.
Photo: Andreas Woitschützke

A central concern of the GEW representatives: Since they “do the same job”, it is essential that teachers in primary schools and in the lower secondary area of ​​Hauptschule, Realschule and Gesamtschule from the start of their activity teaching, just like high school teachers after the A13 salary level is paid”, underlines Caroline Lensing. The shortage of teachers in these types of schools is directly linked to low salaries.

There are currently more than 8,000 vacant teaching positions in North Rhine-Westphalia. Arno Jansen, SPD candidate in the regional elections on May 15, also wants to turn the screw. “Payment after A13 level in all types of schools is part of our campaign platform,” he remarks to the GEW. An alignment could even work in the current legislature, according to the SPD politician. Overall, more resources should be made available for education, GEW Neuss representatives demanded at their information stand at the rally, which also included a family festival with international food and the live music of the band “Cherry on the Cake”. According to Lensing, the school-specific social index initiated by the state government, which specifically supports schools under severe pressure, is simply a “redistribution of resources.” “It just plugs holes, but no new resources are invested in education,” says Jansen, an SPD politician.

Another concern of the GEW representatives is to further promote digitization in schools. “Neuss is already well positioned in this respect – all schools are connected to the fiber optic network and equipped with WLAN”, assures mayor Reiner Breuer in dialogue with trade unionists. So far, the city of Neuss has only been able to equip schoolchildren in need with around 8,000 tablets – so far not all schoolchildren have been fully equipped. According to Breuer, it is unfortunate that the city only received 142,000 euros for Theodor Schwann College from a funding program initiated by the state government last year by school ministries NRW Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) to equip schools with tablets for digital education. other schools have been left empty-handed.

However, Jansen stressed that digitally equipping schools and students is not enough on its own. “Digitization must be cast in an educational form,” he says. The previous state government failed to do this, for example due to the lack of standards for the training and further education of teachers in digital education.

“Without instructional guidelines for digitization and digital education, the 16th Schools Amendment Act is a declaration of bankruptcy by the state government,” Jansen concludes on the law, which is also heavily criticized by the GEW. “One of the things we criticize is the lack of data protection when using teaching and learning systems,” notes Caroline Lensing.

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