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In such a case, the minister recommended that the parents contact the school.

In such a case, the minister recommended that the parents contact the school.

Big difference between the strong and the weak

More than an eighth (13 percent) of students in Germany achieve the highest level of competence in problem-solving in a team – the OECD average is only 8 percent. The proportion of those who do poorly is also comparatively low.

Even so, 21 percent of students in Germany can only solve minor problems that are not very complex to work with. In absolute terms, there is certainly still a lot of catching up to do, said Schleicher. In addition, the gap between strong and weak students in Germany is greater than the OECD average.

Boys are worse on a team

Girls are better at solving problems in teams in all countries. In Germany they are almost a school year ahead of the boys. Noticeable: when the PISA 2012 study tested how well students can solve problems on their own, the boys did better. "This indicates that the girls have very great skills, especially in teamwork" announced the Technical University of Munich, which was responsible for the German part of the study.

According to Schleicher, the question of how team competence can be improved is not that easy to answer. The study shows, among other things, that performance is better where lessons offer more space for interaction – for example with group experiments in science classes.

Germans in the upper third

PISA is the world’s most important comparative school test. It is organized every three years by the OECD, most recently in 2015 – the data on teamwork also come from this year. The core of PISA are the competence tests for natural sciences, mathematics and reading comprehension; the most recent evaluation was published almost a year ago. The Germans were in the top third of the international rankings.

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You can find out what 15-year-old students need to know here.

"Grrr, that’s early": Many students dread getting up in the morning. Should the lesson start later? Sleep researchers have been calling for this for a long time – so far in vain.

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After the summer vacation, many students start groaning again: getting up early is the order of the day. The beginning of classes at eight o’clock is particularly stressful for male adolescents, says Horst-Werner Korf, director of the Senckenberg Chronomedical Institute in Frankfurt. Primary school children, on the other hand, usually get along very well with starting school early. But when would be a suitable time to go to school in the morning?

Lessons start before eight o’clock "problematic"

Nine o’clock would be a good time, according to the President of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM), Alfred Wiater. Lessons should start before eight o’clock "certainly problematic". And if so, then the school day should start with subjects like sports, art or music and not just math or physics.

The biological clock ticks differently in young people

The physician Korf has dedicated himself to the science of the internal clock. Not only does it work differently for every person, it can also change in the course of life. Often this happens during puberty: "Small children are almost always larks" says Korf. "Then, at puberty, many become owls." Larks get up early, owls stay awake for a long time. And nothing can be changed about that: "Nobody can live against their biological clock for long."

Class times can worsen performance

The www ashley traditional early start of school suits larks, but it is for owls "absolutely counterproductive" says Korf. If they have to be at school at eight o’clock, they bring a sleep deficit with them. "But sleep is important for cognitive performance and memory." With the owls among the students, he said "Biorhythm shifted compared to social rhythm". Since especially post-pubescent boys are often among the owls, this could also be a reason that their school performance is often poor.

School starts particularly early in Germany

The early start of school in Germany compared to other European countries is particularly troubling for pupils from puberty, says Wiater. It then sets in "Time-shifting to late types" on. Correspondingly, many young people come to school without sleep.

However, a study by the University of Leipzig in 2016 showed that even half an hour less sleep reduced performance at school by 30 percent. "If we are thinking about an education offensive, early school start should also be up for discussion" demanded Wiater.

Germany needs one "new sleep culture"

Germany needs one "new sleep culture" in which it is no longer considered admirable for someone to claim they can get by on four hours of sleep. A completely underestimated topic is also the microsleep at the wheel. How often do you read that, for example, a truck driver hit the end of a traffic jam without braking.

According to studies, drowsiness makes you sick

Studies in the US have shown that drowsiness causes twice as many fatal road accidents as alcohol. In the German accident statistics, however, drowsiness only shows up with a share of 0.5 percent. This has to do with the fact that, unlike alcohol, sleepiness cannot be measured – the adrenaline level naturally goes high after an accident, said sleep researcher Hans-Günter Weeß.

His recommendation: If you notice that you are getting tired, you have to stop and either sleep for a quarter of an hour or do sports to get your circulation going. What doesn’t help, however: Wind down the window, drink a Coke or turn up the music.

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Exams at school: better not before ten o’clock

Chronobiologists have long called for a later start to school, "but nothing happens" the doctor regrets Korf. Nevertheless, the schools could do something without shaking the foundations. For example, teachers could not have exams written early in the morning, but instead "in a time window where both types are equally motivated – that is between ten and 10.30 a.m.". Korf also has a tip for owls: "Avoid blue light in the late evening: cell phone off."

In the wake of the Corona crisis, a lot of lessons are canceled and can only be made up to a limited extent. For students from certain federal states, this should not have any influence on the promotion.

Schoolchildren have been at home for weeks or are still at home to counter the spread of Covid-19 – this has consequences for the subject matter. The German Teachers Association recently advised that poorly performing students should repeat the class due to the Corona crisis. However, some federal states are accommodating and allow all students to advance to the next level.

Schoolchildren in Hessen do not have to fear sitting down

Schoolchildren in Hesse do not have to worry about being transferred during the Corona crisis. "Since the performance evaluation will only be possible to a limited extent in this half-year, a transfer should usually take place" explains the Ministry of Education in Wiesbaden. The schools had been informed about the regulation in a letter, said Ministry spokesman Stefan Löwer.

In Hesse, in cases where the school performance might not have been sufficient for a transfer before the schools closed, discussions with students and parents should be sought in order to point out the possibility of voluntary repetition. 

Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia rely on similar regulations

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder confirmed in the "Passauer Neue Presse": "Nobody should be deported because of Corona. We are considering generous probationary transfers and we will adjust the curricula accordingly this and next school year."

In North Rhine-Westphalia, pupils are to be promoted to the next higher grade in the current school year.

Baden-Württemberg also moves the students

Schoolchildren in southwest Germany do not have to worry about being transferred to the next school year due to the Corona crisis. In principle, the decisions about transfer are made on the basis of the grades in the annual report card, announced the Ministry of Education. "However, since the performance evaluation has been suspended in the last few weeks and will only be possible to a very limited extent in the coming period, all students will be transferred to the next school year" stressed Minister of Education Susanne Eisenmann (CDU).

"No pupil may have a disadvantage from the current situation, that has absolute priority." The ministry will provide information about the specific design of this decision and the options for implementation.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania there is no need to worry about relocation

In this school year, all pupils in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will be promoted to the next class regardless of their grades. But it is possible to repeat the school year voluntarily, said Education Minister Bettina Martin (SPD).

In particular, students who are at risk of transfer, have in view of the circumstances no good opportunity to balance their performance in this school year, she said. All school principals were informed about the regulation in a letter.

Pupils for whom successful participation in the next higher class appears questionable due to a lack of knowledge, could voluntarily repeat the school year. In such a case, the minister recommended that the parents contact the school.

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The schools in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have been closed since mid-March due to the novel corona virus. On April 27, the final classes should return first, and then further individual grades on May 4.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Even if your school days are a bit behind, do you have what it takes to be a high school student? Test your general knowledge in our quiz!

Once the initial euphoria is over, many elementary school students often feel frustrated – they no longer feel like going to school. After the autumn or winter holidays, they would like to go back to kindergarten. They don’t like getting up in the morning, moaning when they come home from school and refusing to do their homework. If you have such a frustrated child, patience and a sensitive approach are required, because in this sensitive time the later desire or reluctance to go to school is often initiated. It is important that you find out the reason for your child’s behavior and do not pressurize against it. Here are solutions to eight of the most common school problems.

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