Study on digitization: every second school has no WiFi for students


The corona pandemic has accelerated digitization in German schools, but there are still significant gaps in the technical equipment. As a representative study by the University of Göttingen shows, every second school, for example, does not provide WiFi for pupils. In addition, a clear gap has formed between individual schools, for example in terms of digital competence, said the Education and Science Union (GEW), which presented the first results of the survey on Tuesday in Frankfurt am Main.

How should digitization be implemented in our schools? How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting events? What was achieved in the 2020/2021 school year? This is what our series of articles would like to shed light on.

The teachers’ workload has grown again. “Learning with digital media and tools is implemented extremely unevenly in German schools,” it said. This digital divide endangers skills development and equal participation. “We have a school world that is drifting apart,” said Ilka Hoffmann from the GEW board.

For the study At the beginning of 2021, more than 2,000 teachers of secondary level I and II were surveyed nationwide. According to this, around a third of schools are so-called latecomers when it comes to digitization, and twelve percent are “pioneers”. “The differences are serious,” said study director Frank Mußmann from the University of Göttingen.

According to the survey, for example, only a third of young people at latecomer schools can check whether they can rely on information on the Internet. At the pioneering schools, however, it is 62 percent. And the digital infrastructure or the opportunities for further training for teachers are also significantly worse.

Corona gave digitization a powerful boost, according to the scientist. But there are serious shortcomings in the technical equipment. “Up until now, WLAN for everyone has often not been the case.” According to the results, only 70 percent of teachers in schools work with WiFi for all teachers. In addition, half of the schools have no WiFi for the pupils. And: “Only 57 percent of the teachers worked in schools where there are enough digital devices,” said Mußmann. A cloud connection is also not a matter of course, and many teachers use private electronic devices in class.

Ansgar Klinger from the GEW emphasized that the technical gaps and the multiple workloads in the pandemic had led to an irresponsible workload for teachers as well as to the increasing digital divide. “We have to stop this development and sustainably reverse it so that schools and pupils are no longer left behind.” The GEW called for quick action: “Politicians cannot avoid this homework.”


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