Surveys show that the majority of German students feel hopeless, listless and even depressed as a result of the long lockdown. Homeschooling is overwhelming for many of them, and some families are struggling to cope. We visited students at home.
Every morning, 14-year-old Catharina sits down at the dining table and tries to study Latin, Math, or English. Her 10-year-old brother, Philipp, sits next to her. He also has to study — and likes using Catharina as a teaching assistant. How are either one supposed to concentrate? Their single mother can’t help, because she is a doctor and has to go to work. Anna has it a little bit easier. She is 16 years old and considers the time she has spent in lockdown to be the most productive of her life so far. She can finally concentrate, and work in peace. Leandro is 14 and can't understand this. He feels completely overwhelmed by the massive heap of tasks. What should he tackle first and how should he do it? He can't provide the structure and guidance he used to get every day in the classroom for himself, and often has trouble getting out of bed in the morning —an indication of early-onset depression. Axel Rowohlt visited Catharina, Philipp, Anna and Leandro, and also spoke to Felix, their student representative. He conducted a survey among students in Berlin — with alarming results.