Mr. Mayor, in October your predecessor wrote in a letter in view of the high number of refugees: We can’t do any more. Do you say that too?
Schick: Whether we can or not – the people of Cottbus, of course we are all willing to help. I want to put that in advance. We know that the people have experienced great suffering and of course we want to help them too. I say that as a Christian too. Unfortunately, we have been at the capacity limit for quite a while now. This applies above all to the areas of daycare, school and after-school care, but also to the health and counseling system. Our supply infrastructure has reached its limit. Reimbursements are one thing, but the key factor is people.
We lack people who decide to work in the particularly stressed areas with a high shortage of staff. You can certainly compensate for a while with special permits, use lateral entrants in the school or adjust the spatial conditions downwards. But lowering quality standards and constantly overloading people doesn’t work forever. To give an example: Of course, as the school authority, we can still have a 29th, 30th or 31st chair placed in the classroom, but of course the children don’t learn better at school with that and it’s only a matter of time before the teachers Teachers drop out in frustration.
For example, how can something be improved in schools in the short term?
Refugees come with school-age children. Right from the start, we made concrete suggestions to the responsible school authority on how we should react to this acute situation and how we can specifically support the school authority and the state of Brandenburg as a municipality. With regard to the children, but also from a school organizational point of view, welcome classes would be the means of choice for us.
In Brandenburg there are no such classes in which refugee children can first learn German in their own group.
Believe me, when the children and young people get a basis for understanding, that is a good start for them. It would be very important to me that the state of Brandenburg and the responsible school authority think again about taking the pressure off the boiler.
What else could help?
Due to the current crises and structural change, we also need support for school renovations. Incidentally, this is not only an issue in Cottbus/Chóśebuz or in Lusatia. If we want families to not only work here, but live here, then we need support in creating the necessary infrastructure. Municipalities cannot do this alone.
The letter also addresses the overload in the healthcare sector. What does it consist of?
We already lack specialists who work in this area. The influx brings people who also need health care. This exacerbates the capacity problem. In addition, there is the language barrier, which lengthens the time it takes to see a doctor. We should actually take the time to explain the differences in the healthcare system. Every country handles doctor or hospital visits differently. Sending people around unnecessarily leads to confusion, which we cannot afford given the existing capacity problem.
You recently won the mayoral election in the first ballot against the AfD candidate.
Seven candidates ran for election. I have to go to the main election
31.8 percent of voters voted more than 5 percent more than the runner-up. That was a clear result.
In the runoff, 68.6 percent of the voters then voted for you.
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