After the Summer Break, Back to School and Kindergarten

A professor of the University of Mannheim initiates a joint statement of six organizations from the fields of medicine, psychology, education, early-childhood education and economics requesting a controlled reopening of educational institutions and child care facilities for pre-school and school age children.

“Children and adolescents must be able to develop social competencies, they need social interaction with others. Schools and child care facilities are key for developing these competencies”, explains Prof. Oliver Dickhäuser, holder of the Chair of Educational Psychology at the University of Mannheim, who initiated the joint statement of the six organizations. “In the current crisis, children and adolescents generally carry a heavy load. This load is not directly visible in the short term, however, it may become visible in the long term and it may have long-lasting consequences”, he adds.

“Closing educational institutions does not affect all children equally, because the restrictions deepen existing inequalities. Children and adolescents requiring special assistance or lacking family support have the biggest disadvantages”, says Dickhäuser. For some children and adolescents, severely restricting the access to educational institutions and child care facilities has had severe effects on their mental and physical health as well as their social development.  

By signing this statement, the organizations request the Federal Government and the state governments to focus much more on children and families in their political considerations. In addition, schools need to be better equipped with high-quality didactics for digital teaching.

The joint statement was issued by the German Educational Research Association, the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the German Psychological Society, the Society for Empirical Educational Research, the German Economic Association and the Child Health Foundation.

Link to the joint statement: