As a result of the COVID pandemic, 16% of children in Germany have gained weight. These are the results of a forsa survey conducted in the first half of this year among 1,000 parents on behalf of the German Society Against Obesity (DAG) and the Elke Kröner Fresenius Center of the Technical University of Munich. According to the study, children and adolescents between the ages of six and 16 increased their media consumption by 70% and ate twice as many snacks.
The new German perfect child? Migration, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, but "happy"...
Figures published in previous years already gave reasons for concern. The "homebody" generation spends too much time in front of the computer, TV or smartphone. Interruption in schoolwork, as well as school and club sports during "breaks", has exacerbated this trend.
According to an analysis by the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse (KKH), the number of obese children between the ages of six and 18 increased by 27% in a decade. The results of the second wave of the child and adolescent health survey also showed alarming results. According to data from 2014 to 2017, 9.5% of children and adolescents between the ages of three and 17 were overweight, and 5.9% were even obese.
In addition to restricting junk food advertising, the DAG calls for a tax on sugary drinks and improved school lunches. Doctors such as Dr Sven Armbrust, chief physician at the Clinic for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, go even further. Back in 2013, he recommended the introduction of a subject on nutrition in schools. And it is clear why − children of overweight parents tend to become obese themselves, because the lifestyle of the family has a decisive influence on their behaviour.
Other experts also call for more physical activity. The Association of German Physical Education Teachers, for example, has been advocating the introduction of a third physical education lesson for all grades for years. But that's not all. Up to 50% of children after elementary school can swim poorly or not at all.
Pool closures have taken a bitter toll in recent decades: Covid-19 made the situation worse here, too, because swimming classes could not be held. A national program to build pools is almost necessary to have classes regardless of the weather.
Fewer and fewer German children are learning to swim. No problem: the fat always floats on top.
The issues of nutrition and exercise were deliberately put at the beginning of this article because a strong physique has a decisive influence on the ability to absorb academic material. But somehow or other, the once venerable German educational system is cracking and crunching. And this is no coincidence.
For today's Marxist and ultra-liberal system of "education" knows no shortage of talent, only a shortage of methods. This has led not least to a relaxation of standards, especially in Abitur. The ability to "choose" subjects (for examinations) has replaced the once solid standards that could not be violated.
Soft pedagogy attracts young people who are no longer accustomed to navigating rough waters and obstacles − especially later, during their studies. In general, one wonders whether there are too many young people in the Federal Republic of Germany who do not qualify for higher education. It is often about 40% of the total. In the circles of skilled professionals there is talk of "academia mania" in this context. Experts such as Heino Bosselmann, a teacher in Rostock, advocate a significant reduction in the number of high school graduates.
The trend that has been raging since the late 1960s, mostly in proletarian circles: "My children should also go to gymnasiums!" Since then, the number of gymnasium students has increased tenfold.
Bosselmann commented on this in an interview with the magazine Zuerst in 2010: "If more than half of the class is transferred to a gymnasium, the other types of school lose out. So the old Realschule became Hauptschule, and Hauptschule, in turn, was downgraded to Förderschule."
The politicians' plan, which has already become dogma, to send 40 to 50% of students to gymnasiums, is considered "self-deceiving" by Bosselmann. After all, 25% of students subsequently drop out of higher education, and these are the 25% "who are already wrong in the gymnasium and require remedial education."
When asked whether today's high school graduates are stupider than those of the 1960s, Bosselman answers in the negative: "At least not in the upper third of the grades; there we can assume a cultural constant." Educators today find it more difficult to carry out their professional activities "because they are exposed to the politically predetermined image of someone who believes that everyone can do anything."
This view is also held by the Association of German Philologists, an association of school teachers preparing students for the Abitur, founded in 1903. For several years now, it has been calling for elementary school recommendations to "become more mandatory again", as the national chairwoman of the association, Susanne Lin-Klitzing, put it.
After all, it had become accepted in Germany that only parents could decide "which high school their child would go to." Lin-Klitzing advocates a combination of parental wishes, teacher opinion, and nationwide tests in the last grade of elementary school. In some federal states, such as Baden-Württemberg, rethinking of this policy has already begun.
Another huge issue is federalism, which makes the Federal Republic resemble a big educational patchwork quilt. Experts and a clear majority of the population have been calling for years for a uniform educational system with comparable qualifications for the country. Imagine moving with your children to another federal state and discovering a completely different educational system there. This is not really something that makes you enthusiastic.