The fax machine is on the floor. Next to it on the wall an empty shelf. An open moving box in front of the temporary desk in the secretary's office at neuses elementary school. A computer screen in the far corner. Switched off, disconnected, ready for the scrap heap. He is no longer needed here. Just like the fax, the old school desk, the desk chair from the 50s, the crucifix on the wall.
A farewell song
Scene change: ulrike schmidt, deputy principal in neuses, sits in her classroom. Around them their fourth. The future fifth graders give their teacher a song as a farewell gift. "Marble, stone and iron may break, but our friendship will not. Our school that closes. This will not leave us alone!", they sing.
Ulrike schmidt keeps her cool. The 46-year-old woman is confident that her proteges are in good hands in their new schools. And that the change for the fourth would have come anyway. She herself will teach elementary school children in marktrodach in the new school year after seven years in neuses. Just like her colleague birgit rupp, the class leader of flexi class 1 and 2 in neuses. "The fact that we can transfer to the same school together makes things easier for us, of course", says schmidt and laughs. The padagogue is not a woman who mourns the past. "Especially since this is no longer the case", she says. The school numbers in neuses are simply too low to maintain a school operation. "At some point it will be too expensive for the sachauandstrager, too."
Modern looks different
The fact is that the school building in neuses has seen better days: time has eaten a rough hole in the rough, beautiful mural on the second floor. The classrooms, decorated with colorful pictures of the children just a few weeks ago, have the charm of the 60s without them. The old lockers, shelves and coat racks still work – thanks in part to the janitor dieter zorn, who has been looking after neuses for 25 years – but modern and contemporary looks different.
It doesn't help that the school is idyllically situated in the countryside, that there is a gymnasium and that the kindergarten is right next door.
Ulrike schmidt hands out the certificates, and each student receives a small farewell gift: a CD with the best photos from the past school year, and a necklace with a small blue dolphin on it for good luck.
Then it's time. 10.45 o'clock. The school is out. No gong signals the end of the ara a. No one is around now to talk rough. The school closes after 50 years. For ever.
New school in kronach
A girl from the first class prints herself into one of the wardrobe lockers. It cries. Classmates and teachers comfort the little girl until she picks up her parents. "You're going to a great new school," she says, says schmidt. The newly renovated school stands in kronach. About 4.5 kilometers from the girl's home. So it's not a trip around the world.
Nevertheless: in the future she will go to the lucas cranach elementary school by bus. This is also the new school for the children from gehulz, where schooling will also be suspended.
According to the ministry of education, five years ago there were still 2287 legally independent state elementary schools in bavaria. 34 of these had been formally dissolved or merged by the governments by 2012, but classes were still being held in 22 of these schools.
36 children in two classes
The bavarian ministry of education and culture does not keep separate statistics on how many dependent elementary schools have been closed in the past five years, it says in response to a question from state parliament member hans jurgen fahn of the free electoral party. According to information provided by the government, about 60 dependent childcare centers were closed in bavaria between 2008 and 2012. Or at least classes had to be abandoned if the minimum number of 13 students in an elementary school class was not reached.
In neuses near kronach, 36 children went to school last year. In two classes. And there is no sign of a baby boom in the small congregation, even if stefanie schneider and her husband frank, who are expecting their third child in a few days, are sitting at the closing service. "Our oldest goes to the fourth grade in neuses", he figures. You have always been satisfied with the school. "Everything there was so eerily sheltered." They were happy to have children two and three enrolled there. "We really regret the school closure."
Helene gernlein sits two rows behind the young parents in the church pew."Actually, I am always present at the school graduation service. For many years", tells the soon to be 81 year old. Today she accompanies her great-grandson on his last day of school. "All my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been to school in neuses", she says. But helene gernlein is also aware that "you can't turn back time. It is what it is! Just look at the few children in front of you!" Only three children went to communion this year. "We were 27 at the time!"
The service is over. The baker who used to supply the school with snacks is waiting at the churchyard. He has prepared a little surprise for the schoolchildren. Also the "woman teacher may go to the "hornla reach. And all the parents who are there. There is a lot of silence in front of the church. The parents have long fought for the preservation of the school. Now the day X has come.
Ulrike schmidt comforts again. "We will still see each other like this, she waves to the mothers and fathers while the small troop of children marches back to school. Schmidt himself lives in the small town, which has been a. July no longer has school.
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