Education: State extends pilot project for Abitur after nine years

Baden-Württemberg is basically sticking to the Abitur after eight years and is extending the pilot project with the 43 high schools that offer the degree after nine years.

Education: State extends pilot project for Abitur after nine years

Baden-Württemberg is basically sticking to the Abitur after eight years and is extending the pilot project with the 43 high schools that offer the degree after nine years. This was confirmed by Minister of Education Theresa Schopper of the German Press Agency in Stuttgart. "We agreed in the coalition agreement not to hold any structural debates. So the G8 remains the norm," explained the Greens politician. "But in order to retain the existing options for the students to achieve the general higher education entrance qualification, we want to continue the G9 pilot project." This helps to provide a suitable offer for different paths to the Abitur. The procedure has been coordinated with the parliamentary group leaders of the Greens and CDU, Andreas Schwarz and Manuel Hagel.

The pilot project was introduced in the 2012/2013 school year under Green-Red and is to be extended by five years. After eight years, Minister of Education Schopper countered the critics of the so-called turbo-Abitur that there were enough options: "We have a nationwide offer in Baden-Württemberg to get to the Abitur in nine years." This is possible at 223 vocational high schools alone, plus nine community schools with a high school level. At the more than 50 Waldorf schools in the state, the pupils usually graduate after nine years.

The 43 general-education model high schools are distributed across almost all 44 urban and rural districts in the south-west. Originally there were 44, but a high school in Mannheim decided in 2018 to switch completely to G8 again.

The Greens and the CDU had already agreed during the coalition negotiations that they wanted to stick to the existing types of schools. But there is always criticism of the G8 - for example from the state parents' council, because it causes a lot of stress for many students to take their Abitur after just eight years. Especially during the Corona crisis, it was said again and again that many young people had learning gaps and needed more time. Schopper, on the other hand, repeatedly pointed out that the feedback from the schools and the grades gave a different picture. For students with gaps, programs such as "Learning with a tailwind" have also been set up.

Actually, the pilot project with the 43 high schools would not have ended until the summer of 2023. According to reports, Schopper wants to bring the extension to the cabinet on September 13 so that schools, parents and students can prepare for it in good time.

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