On Monday evening, Viennese demonstrated against the school closings on Ballhausplatz. NEOS club boss Beate Meinl-Reisinger is also there.
Since the school shutdown was announced along with the toughest lockdown to date from Tuesday, the waves have been rising. Many parents and legal guardians oppose the double burden of homeschooling and distance learning. NEOS boss Beate Meinl-Reisinger heard a loud voice against the closure of schools – she has three daughters, two of whom are school-aged. Your petition #openSchools received more than 36,000 signatures in a very short time.
“We want to send a good sign here”
On Monday evening Mein-Reisinger then appeared as a guest speaker at the demo “Pro face-to-face teaching – keep the schools open” at Ballhausplatz, organized by singer and actress Theresia Gansch. However, any corona deniers or mask refusers were not invited to the event. At the demo, education should be in the foreground, a concern that the usual Corona demonstrators are rather remote, it said in advance.
A problem that the party leader also addressed in her speech right at the beginning: “I am very worried that the polarization is so strong these days that if you stand up for education, it is equated with corona denial”. Immediately thereafter followed the appeal to keep safety distances and to wear mouth and nose protection: “We want to send a good signal here.”
“I am here as the mother of three children. I am here as a mother who knows how important educational institutions are for our children. As a mother who knows that my children need social contact with other children. As a mother who knows that what teachers do so wonderfully every day that we mothers – even fathers – cannot do, “said Meinl-Reisinger’s announcement.
“A society I don’t want to live in”
The directors of the elementary schools had also been taken by surprise by the closings and had now to switch to distance learning “completely unprepared and left alone by politicians who have no idea about the practice”. According to Meinl-Reisinger, all the experts, the traffic light commission and also the advisors to Health Minister Rudolf Anschober had pleaded for the schools to be kept open.
“And why was this decision made then? Is it ultimately just a question of power, carried out on the back of our children, the pupils?” Now all those of these experts would be defamed in the social media as belittled and denied, the NEOS boss complains: “That brings us into a society in which I, to be honest, I don’t want to live.”
“It’s the end of education”
Not every child would have the space, the equipment or the possibilities at home to make up for the deficits that have now arisen. “It’s not just about these three weeks, it is now about six months in which our children have not received the lessons they really urgently need”. Educational deficits would show up for a lifetime. “The end of face-to-face teaching at school is not the start of distance learning at home. It is the end of education as it should actually take place. No matter how much we parents stray, we will not be able to replace the teachers. ”