If you want to be trained as a physiotherapist or speech therapist at an independent school, you now have to pay school fees again. This recently caused harsh criticism - and will be an issue in the state parliament this week. The minister responsible defended his actions.
Erfurt (dpa/th) - According to Minister of Education Helmut Holter (left), there is currently no scope for the reintroduction of free tuition for health professions at free schools. "I regret that the approximately 1,000 students are hit hard by this - but unfortunately I have no other option than to do so," said Holter of the German Press Agency. Everyone who is now calling for the decision to be reversed "should ensure that I can get the money for it".
In mid-May it became known that trainees in health professions at free schools - such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech therapists - would have to pay school fees again. The assumption of costs by the state was only introduced last year. The Ministry of Education justified its decision last week with a lack of funds after the state parliament's savings decision. In the education department he had to save 74 million euros, said Holter. He received harsh criticism from the opposition.
According to Holter, the exemption from school fees was a voluntary service. "I must of course first assume my legal obligation to the other independent schools," he said. "And then we have to see if there is any more money left - which cannot be seen from today's perspective." He has no way of saving elsewhere.
The state parliament will meet on Wednesday for a special session on the subject. Among other things, a draft law by the CDU parliamentary group is to be dealt with in it, in which they want to make the grants to independent organizations for the implementation of the exemption from school fees legally binding. In an application, the AfD also calls for the decision to be reversed.
If the statutory benefit is stipulated, it is accompanied by the obligation that the ministry must raise 1.8 million euros this year and at least two million euros more in the following years, said Holter. However, the financial prerequisites for this have not yet been met.