Erfurt (dpa/th) – According to the left-wing parliamentary group in Thuringia, almost 6,400 school children received no or only limited swimming lessons during the corona pandemic. In the school years 2019/20 and 2020/21, 404 of all state elementary and special schools as well as community schools with elementary school classes were affected by cancellations or restrictions, the left education politician Torsten Wolf told the German Press Agency. These are around 85 percent of these schools. Wolf referred to the response from the Ministry of Education to a parliamentary group request. Swimming lessons are given in Thuringia in the 3rd grade.
The children should be able to swim safely for at least 15 minutes at a time. According to the Linke education expert, around 3,800 of the almost 6,400 children who did not receive proper swimming lessons in the two school years are now considered non-swimmers because they cannot swim 25 meters in the pool. Another 2,500 or so are classified as unsafe swimmers. This means that they can swim more than 25 meters at a time, but cannot stay in the water for the required quarter of an hour.
During the pandemic, indoor and outdoor pools used for swimming lessons were sometimes closed for months. In order to make up for lost time, the state government has prepared so-called learning checks with state and federal funds, said Wolf. This would finance 20 hours of swimming support for non-swimmers and ten hours for unsteady swimmers. However, the catch-up program can only work if local pool operators and swimming clubs offer courses and the learning checks can be redeemed in this way.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220813-99-371643/2