Where did the money for the digital school agreement go?

Brandenburg / H. It already exists in some schools in Brandenburg: wagons with classroom groups full of tablets for digital lessons. In other schools, everyday life using whiteboards instead of blackboards is part of everyday life, in other schools there are charging lockers for laptops, and it is already clear: they are not needed.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

What about the “Digital Pact” in Havelstadt, under which the federal government wanted to spend billions in 2020/21 to digitally reshape state schools? Teacher and SPD city councilman Udo Geiseler now wants to know exactly.

Because he knows from his daily work: “Digitalization shapes our living and working environment. Skills should already be taught in school. This requires modern digital equipment in our schools and trained staff.”

As a teacher and local politician, Udo Geiseler knows the problems of the digital agreement that is not implemented or is implemented insufficiently.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

As a reminder: In 2019, the “Digital Charter School” was launched. The federal and state governments initially provided five billion euros. When the pressure on digitization became stronger during the pandemic, the government increased the budget.

Even then, one had heard from the schools that the whole thing was very bureaucratic. Therefore, the SPD parliamentary group now wants to know from the administration what money was actually accessed by the city as school authority and how and for what purpose it was distributed to the schools.

“The situation is puzzling,” says former Saldern School Principal Hanswalter Werner (SPD). While we know from some schools that new devices like laptops, tablets or even digital boards have been purchased, we hear from other schools that teachers are still working with their laptops and buying their own projectors so they can no longer rely on Pollux. “

As at Oberschule Nord, electronic whiteboards in the classroom are still a rarity.

As at Oberschule Nord, electronic whiteboards in the classroom are still a rarity.

Another problem: Schools were not given access to standard software like MS Word and sometimes special software could not be used on peripherals or installation and maintenance took too long.

Originally it was planned that all schools would be connected to the central administration computer via broadband cables leased from the utility company. From there, central maintenance and computer hardware updates should be performed. This was partially implemented – however, court proceedings have been on hold for years, as rft-Kabel GmbH puts pressure on the city and municipal facilities in Brandenburg.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

The report should be available after the summer vacation

“We ask the administration to publish a report after the summer that explains how much money has reached our schools and what problems exist,” a statement from the Social Democratic Party said. The digital agreement expires in 2024 and the city cannot afford to lose funding while Polylux is still in use.

Even before the federal elections in September 2021, MAZ asked then-Bundestag member, challenger and later winner Detlinde Teimann (SPD), “What about the digital agreement that went completely wrong?”

“The really big problems are getting the money and the unclear responsibilities of federal, state, provincial and local authorities,” Ischwede replied. Framework agreements between the federal government and the states were better.

Push problems back and forth

Dietlind Tiemann saw it more critically at the time: “The issue of digitization was not first raised as a result of the epidemic. We approved five billion euros in the Bundestag and changed the Basic Law. So far, federal states have failed and called for little money.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Regarding the city, Tiemann complained that the state was responsible for the bureaucracy and that each school had to present its own concept before making payments. Tiemann also said that it does better than the site: “This is shown on the campus of the Lehnin School, which is far ahead in terms of information technology and digitization.”

The fact remains: the money is there: the city has known since February 2021 that it “receives a total of €612,000 for the schools under its auspices,” Britta Kornmeiser (SPD), a state parliamentarian, told Time. The Ministry of Education in Brandenburg was and still is in the hands of the Social Democratic Party.

According to the SPD, they now want to know exactly what happened to the money. This should also be of interest to new MP Alexandra Adel (independent), who has been in charge of schools and implementation of the digital agreement for a few weeks.

By Benno Rojk

Leave a Comment