Will there be laptops in 20 years

Service laptop for every teacher: a maximum of 600 euros is available per device - including software and service

BERLIN. Corona forces schools to improvise. But in the future, digital lessons at home should work better than in the spring if it is needed again. The federal and state governments want to spend a lot of money on this: Another 500 million euro package was agreed in the Chancellery. For this, every teacher in Germany should now get a work laptop.

Service laptops for teachers, a ten-euro flat rate for students and as many schools as possible have fast access to broadband internet - due to the corona pandemic, the federal and state governments are planning another 500 million euro package to accelerate digitization in education. At a meeting in the Chancellery on Thursday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), SPD leader Saskia Esken, Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) and the education ministers of several federal states agreed on appropriate steps, but concrete decisions still have to be made.

The corona pandemic had shown that there are still major deficits in the area of ​​schools and digitization. Tasks and communication via the Internet during the school closings only worked to a limited extent. Education unions and teachers' associations had criticized that not all students were equipped with the appropriate technology at home. As a result, the grand coalition had already launched a 500 million euro program for the acquisition of loan equipment for needy schoolchildren. The lack of service equipment for teachers was also criticized.


Esken said on Friday in Berlin: "We are all determined to give things a boost now." Merkel announced that she would continue the talks quickly in a larger group with all ministries of education. In Germany, education is a matter of the state. The financing and design of nationwide funding programs for schools, for example, must therefore be negotiated with everyone. "It is good that we are now picking up the pace in the digitization of schools," said Education Minister Karliczek. The exceptional situation of the pandemic has shown many people in the country the enormous opportunities of digital teaching and learning again in a completely new way.


It was fundamentally agreed that teachers should be equipped with “digital devices” such as laptops. According to Esken, the 500 million euros are intended for this. With around 820,000 teachers at general and vocational schools (Federal Statistical Office) that would be around 600 euros per device - including software and service. Hesse's Minister of Culture, Alexander Lorz (CDU), who was present at the meeting with Chancellor Merkel, said on Friday that the voting process on the subject of business laptops is now beginning. He reckons that this will be "wrapped up" by the end of the year.


Teachers' associations and education unions had long called for this so that teachers no longer have to use their personal devices for presentations or assignments. No one would ask a tax officer to send financial statements via his private computer to the email address “[email protected]”, said Susanne Lin-Klitzing, the chairwoman of the German Association of Philologists, which represents the interests of high school teachers, on Friday . So far, however, it has been similar with teachers. "This has an end now. We are happy and grateful for it. "

The equipment with service laptops must then also go hand in hand with the further training of teachers so that the devices can be used optimally for teaching and learning and added educational value can be generated, said the chairman of the Association for Education and Upbringing (VBE), Udo Beckmann . The announcements were also welcomed by the Federal Association of Teachers for Vocational Education and Training that politicians must now quickly take the necessary decisions, said the chairman of the association, Eugen Straubinger.


Telekom boss Timotheus Höttges had given the promise to provide a ten-euro flat rate for schoolchildren. Merkel reported that to the group on Thursday evening in the Chancellery, said Hesse's Education Minister Alexander Lorz.

A request from Telekom revealed on Friday that the company wants to offer such a tariff for digital learning in the short term. A spokesman in Bonn said it was about a mobile phone tariff exclusively with data usage and unlimited volume. The tariff can only be used for educational content. "You can't access Netflix with it." The schools and school authorities should decide which pupils can receive this offer.

On the third point, which was discussed in the Chancellery - how schools that have not yet been connected to the fast network, should be connected more quickly - there were no concrete statements on Friday.

Comprehensive school closings, such as at the beginning of the corona pandemic, should no longer exist if possible. "There is agreement on the common goal of again avoiding complete and area-wide closings of schools and daycare centers as far as possible," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert after the school meeting in the Chancellery. By Jörg Ratzsch, dpa

The post will also be discussed on the News4teachers Facebook page.

After a meeting of ministers of education with Merkel: every teacher in Germany should quickly get a service laptop