Education: Dillinger Volkshochschule is expanding digital offerings

The VHS draws an interim corona balance sheet. Because of the pandemic, thousands of emails and letters were in circulation

The board of trustees of the adult education center recently came under the chairmanship of Mayor Frank Kunz
together – for the first time since the VHS was founded in the form of a video conference. Those responsible took a look at the past semester, which was mainly shaped by the corona pandemic. The half-year, reported employee Lothar Schmied, presented the VHS Dillingen and the branch offices with organizational challenges: be it through checking the spatial conditions, adjusting the maximum number of participants or creating hygiene and protection plans. Despite everything, the autumn / winter semester 2020/21 was started with an extensive range of 488 courses including additional courses.

In view of the general uncertainty, the number of registrations for this semester was considerable, with a total of 4082 registrations. However, the worsening of the infection rate in autumn soon affected the company: in November, exercise courses had to pause – and sometimes also be canceled. On December 1st, in accordance with legal requirements, VHS presence throughout Bavaria was completely stopped. The conclusion: 136 courses could be carried out in full despite the pandemic and in compliance with all safety precautions, 232 courses had to be canceled, 92 ongoing courses were interrupted. In order to keep lecturers and course participants up to date, over 10,000 emails and letters were sent during this time alone. The loss of income due to missing participation fees and additional hygiene measures could be partially compensated for by a rescue package for adult education, says Lothar Schmied. On behalf of the VHS branch offices, Bissingen’s mayor Stephan Herreiner, Höchstädt’s mayor Gerrit Maneth and Syrgenstein’s mayor Miriam Steiner thanked for the fact that in the last exceptional year it had been possible to maintain the high quality of the educational offer and to take advantage of all opportunities to continue helping the course participants his.

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Lord Mayor Kunz emphasized the importance of digital media for the continuation and maintenance of the educational offer during this time: “Thanks to modern technology, it was possible in this challenging time to carry out numerous events either online right from the start or to switch from presence to video at short notice” , said the town hall chief. And the response was consistently positive, especially after the VHS closed in December. For this reason, the expansion of the digital offering is to be advanced even further in the future.

VHS director Lisa Schuhmair gave an outlook on the upcoming semester in the online session. This was planned – with optimism – as if the semester could start on March 8th without restrictions: “Whether this is then possible depends of course on the course of the pandemic and on the decisions of the government. We are definitely ready, ”said Schuhmair. The next few weeks will be informed about the program for the upcoming semester before the course booklet is published. (pm)

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