Agreement between the German armed forces and schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) amended instead of dismissed
After long stipulation by the Bündnis Schule ohne Bundeswehr NRW (Alliance for NRW schools without armed forces), the NRW Ministry of Education announced that restrictions have now been implemented regarding the influence of German armed forces in schools. As reported by the media and confirmed by the Ministry, an amendment to the cooperation agreement between the armed forces and the Ministry of Education was signed on the 30th of August. The new agreement particularly differs from the old one (signed by the previous CDU Minister of Education) in three ways:
First of all, the new framework stresses the fact that teachers are responsible for the lessons, pupils are not to be indoctrinated in the lesson and any issues that are controversial in society must also be controversial in the lesson. Secondly, it specifically includes the equality of youth officers and representatives of the peace movement. And thirdly, it excludes the input of youth officers regarding the education and training of teachers.
Some of the media understood this equality to mean that youth officers may only be in lessons when members of the peace movement are also present. This has not been intended by the ministry; it is about equivalence of opinions as a basic principle.
To rectify this, the Bündnis Schule ohne Bundeswehr NRW therefore issued a press release in cooperation with the BSV, embracing the amendment as a step in the right direction rather than holding onto the aim of dismissing the agreement. Although recruitment specifically for the armed forces by youth officers is prohibited, it is still believed they implicitly do this through their presence alone.
Translation: Lewis Sinkala