Erfurt (dpa/th) - The AfD parliamentary group has requested a special session of the state parliament because of the reintroduction of school fees for trainees in health professions at free schools. The aim is to reverse the state government's decision, the opposition AfD faction said on Wednesday in Erfurt. The Ministry of Education justified its controversial decision last week with a lack of funds after the state parliament's austerity decision. The assumption of costs by the state was only introduced last year.
At the request of a parliamentary group, the state parliament must convene for a special session. When is determined by the Council of Elders together with the state parliament administration.
The ministry argued that the suspension of school fees was a voluntary, not a statutory, benefit. Criticism also came from the CDU parliamentary group, which initiated the state parliament's austerity decision this year.
AfD MP René Aust explained that young people had planned their future after the state parliament decision to abolish school fees in April 2021. "They were bitterly disappointed by the state government." His group is demanding a return to free school fees for physiotherapists, occupational therapists, masseurs, speech therapists and some other training professions who learn at a free school.
According to representatives of the free schools, 60 percent of the approximately 1,800 students in Thuringia learn in the field of health professions at independent schools. This means that around 1,000 vocational students are affected by the change.