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Special holiday days: Controversy over carnival-free school days in NRW

Special holiday days : Controversy over carnival-free school days in NRW

Carnival events are cancelled this year, but many schools in North Rhine-Westphalia still want to offer days off around Shrove Monday. This is causing frustration and resentment among parents.

The planning of many schools to give school days off around Shrove Monday, despite the fact that classes have already been restricted for weeks, has caused frustration among parents. The displeasure in the families is understandable, many parents had already used up a large part of their entire annual leave for the school caring of their children at home, said the chairwoman of the state parents conference, Anke Schaar, the German press agency on Wednesday.

Many schools normally offer the Rosenmontag on 15th and the Tuesday also as days off which were decided already long ago as special holidays – coordinated by the local authority. The „Westfalen-Blatt" also reports on criticism on the part of parents. Schaar explained that schools could change decisions on floating holidays at short notice. "Parents can also ask schools to convene a school conference in case of urgency." But under the current difficult conditions, that would be a particularly tall order.

According to the state parents conference, there are also some schools that now want to do without the scheduled carnival-free school days after all. In view of the great challenges throughout the school year, in which no return to normality is to be expected, the question arises, according to Schaar, whether a few days "make a real difference“

According to the decisions taken so far by the federal and state governments, the current lockdown will be in effect until February 14; many are therefore hoping for a gradual return to face-to-face instruction starting February 15. School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) had already recommended to schools several weeks ago that they forgo Carnival vacations. The days could be used to catch up on lesson content. At normal times, schools often schedule floating holidays on one or more carnival days starting on Weiberfastnacht.

With the teacher union GEW it said on Wednesday: "We both have understanding for the stress situation in the families." Nevertheless, they see no reason after all to change anything because of one or a few school-free days at Carnival "in accordance with long existing regulations, which the schools have synchronised with the municipalities."

Original text: (dpa)

Translation: Mareike Graepel