Hamburg's school senator Ties Rabe (SPD) has criticized the federal funding program for air filter systems, which is intended to reduce corona infections in classrooms.

"From our point of view, the federal funding program is a flop," said Rabe of the "Rheinische Post".

“Air filters are only officially promoted by the federal government in rooms that cannot be ventilated – i.e. either have no windows at all or only windows that cannot be opened,” said Rabe.

"There are usually no classrooms like this in any normal school." From the outset, the program was therefore only limited to an extremely small number of classrooms.

Money not fully withdrawn

As part of the "Mobile Air Purifiers 2021" funding program, the federal government provided 200 million euros for the purchase of mobile air purification devices in facilities for children under the age of twelve. So far, the funds have not been fully utilized.

Minister of Education cannot rule out school closures

Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) meanwhile called for targeted preparations in schools in view of the expected increase in the number of corona infections in autumn.

“There should no longer be school closures across the board,” said Stark-Watzinger of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ).

“Scientists assume that the winter can be managed given the variants that are now known.

I assume the best, but you also have to prepare for the most difficult.”

Now is the time to prepare the schools for the winter, for example with CO2 traffic lights that measure the air quality in rooms and good communication channels with parents, said the minister.

"Preparation also includes digital stress tests, which should show whether it is possible to at least offer digital lessons to children in quarantine, for example."

“There should never have been curfews”

The FDP politician spoke out in favor of a lively debate on the infection protection law proposed by the traffic light government.

"I am a member of parliament myself and in recent years I have sometimes wished for a livelier parliament," Stark-Watzinger told the NOZ.

“There should never have been anything like curfews.

In this respect, I think a broad debate is good.”

"We are striving for a proportionate fight against the pandemic in every respect," said the Minister of Education.

"That's why it's so important to me that there is no general obligation to wear masks in schools.

We will debate in parliament what further exceptions will look like.