1. GA-English
  2. News

Decision must not be binding: Many schools in Bonn keep the mask duty

Decision must not be binding : Many schools in Bonn keep the mask duty

Although the rule about the obligatory wearing of masks in secondary school classes in North Rhine-Westphalia expired on Monday, pupils in some schools in Bonn are asked to continue wearing a mouth-and-nose cover in class.

The Bad Godesberg Otto-Kühne-Schule is one of the schools that wants to adhere to the mask obligation. Principal Willi Mirgartz said in explanation that if a positive corona case should occur, considerably fewer students and teachers would have to be sent into quarantine. If his school would continue without a mask, it could happen that whole classes or a whole grade would have to be sent home. "We don't want to risk that," said Mirgartz.

The Aloisius College in Bonn also wants to "implement the relaxation only to a very limited extent in order to limit the loss of attendance classes," as Rector Martin Löwenstein announced. The Bonn International School (BIS) and the Amos-Comenius-Gymnasium (ACG) are proceeding with similar caution. The BIS has extended the compulsory mask requirement by one week, the ACG by two weeks. ACG director Christoph Weigeldt: "Without masks we risk that in the worst case several classes at once would have to be quarantined for 14 days". The Sankt-Adelheid-Gymnasium (SAG) in Pützchen also adheres to the obligation to wear masks. The school with 755 students is supported by the Archbishopric of Cologne. This regulation is valid until further notice, confirmed Nele Harbeke, press officer in the general vicarage - and applies to all 33 schools of the archdiocese, where about 23,000 students are taught. Like other school principals, the archbishopric showed a lack of understanding for the way the state government is dealing with the issue of compulsory masks: "So far, the NRW Ministry of Education has only issued a press announcement on the abolition of compulsory masks, but a corresponding regulation has not yet been published on the ministry's homepage either," criticised Harbeke.

According to GA information, other schools in Bonn are continuing to make masks compulsory. At the comprehensive school "Bonns Fünfte", a transitional regulation applies for classes up to and including Friday, September 4. Beuel Comprehensive School also wants to maintain the compulsory mask during this week. The private Ernst-Kalkuhl-Gymnasium in Oberkassel is doing the same. According to GA information, none of the three schools - as of Monday - has received an official notification from the Ministry of Education. The schools emphasize that they have great support from parents, teachers and students for the cautious approach.

In contrast, School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) made it clear that school principals are not allowed to extend the current state order on their own authority. At secondary and vocational schools, principals may only issue a "mask order" from this Tuesday onwards, which is not binding. Every student and teacher can decide voluntarily to continue wearing the mask in class. Gebauer said that this was a sign of respect.

(Original text: Juergen Pohlmann and Rajkumar Mukherjee; Translation: Mareike Graepel)