The initiative “Yes to a good Thurgau Elementary School – without Curriculum 21” has been accomplished with almost 5000 signatures – only 4000 would have been necessary. On Tuesday, 3 November 2015, representatives of the initiative committee presented the signatures in style to the secretary of the canton in “Schüelertheks” (school satchel).
The initiative wants that not just the government alone but the State Council and if necessary the people can decide on the objectives and the content of the curriculum of the elementary school. In addition, annual goals are to be set so that teachers, parents and students will know again what the students should be able to know at the end of the school year. The Curriculum 21 provides learning objectives only for the three cycles (steps) of the elementary school without binding fixation on the corresponding school years. Thus a real harmonisation across the cantons will not at all be possible with the Curriculum 21. Finally, the initiative demands that all students should learn to read, write and calculate properly again and that a positive attitude towards work should be promoted.
Handing over the signatures the initiators reported that many people enjoyed signing, after having heard all about the Curriculum 21. Many thanked the committee having taken the initiative to put forward the referendum on this absurd curriculum.
For the first time parents and grandparents heard, just by the signature collectors that pupils should learn primarily “self-regulateded” and “individualised”, according to the Curriculum 21 which means to be left to themselves. Class lessons in which all pupils work together are obsolete, because the teacher only provides the material and each pupil must develop the subject material essentially by himself. Consequently each pupil works on his or her individual program. Our signature collectors met ready listeners with the parents hearing that now already many parents often have to sit together with their children for hours every afternoon to work up the subject material, because nowadays it is no longer taught properly at school, instead of practicing their knowledge again at home.
Many teachers of all ages support the concern of the initiative with their signature. Some of them have been pressurised by superiors if they spoke critically against the nonsensical education reforms and Curriculum 21. By submitting the initiative for a good Thurgau elementary school the ground for a democratic debate is prepared now. All citizens have the right – even teachers and members of school boards – to engage openly and critically in the forming of opinions before the vote.
In the course of signature collecting it became evident that many fellow citizens, especially parents, have realized a general education debasement in our elementary schools for some time. It would be cemented with the Curriculum 21. Also many training instructors have often experienced that young people are no longer able to meet the demands of professional life, and this is mainly because they are no longer firm in the necessary basic. The training instructors are afraid of a intensification of that trend by Curriculum 21. Therefore, they hope for a stop of the constant reforms.
The initiative committee counts on an open, honest, objective and democratic discussion with the whole population of the canton.
(Translation Current Concerns)
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