Around 300 participants – Oral high school diploma: Student demonstration in the center of Vienna

Around 300 schoolchildren demonstrated on Wednesday morning at Vienna’s Stephansplatz against the reintroduction of the compulsory oral Matura. The SPÖ-affiliated Action of Critical Pupils (AKS) has called for “major strikes”, in addition to Vienna there are also rallies in some provincial capitals. The federal student representation, which is dominated by the VP-affiliated student union, rejects the protests, but is also only in favor of a voluntary oral matriculation examination.

Those who did not want to take part orally in the past two years were given the grade of the final year in the Matura certificate in the subject concerned. This was justified by the long phases of distance learning in these school years due to the corona. For this year there are also various simplifications in written and oral examinations – however, both parts of the examination must be completed again. However, the AKS not only requires a voluntary oral Matura: If high school graduates want it, the written examination should also be able to be omitted and the Matura certificate Average grades of the last two school years. On Wednesday the young people’s banners read sayings such as “Your high school diploma f**** my health”, “Polaschek look, because of you we’re blue” or “Upper school is enough – abolish the high school diploma now”. The AKS received support at the demo alongside other left-wing youth organizations from the deputy head of the SPÖ club, Jörg Leichtfried. The reasons for the demands for a voluntary oral Matura from the Vienna AKS state chairwoman Anna Blume were, among other things, the increasing number of depressions among young people. In addition, the students have missed so much material in the past two years due to distance learning that it can hardly be made up. The demonstrators then marched to the Ministry of Education on Minoritenplatz, shouting “Polaschek must go”.
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