Fusion against their will: resistance in the Welser HAK is formed

Fusion against their will: resistance in the Welser HAK is formed
200 students handed over 600 signatures to Mayor Rabl.

The last word in the merger of the Wels commercial academies has not yet been spoken – at least when it comes to their students and professors. The student representatives of both schools, HAK 1 and 2, handed over a petition to the Mayor of Wels, Andreas Rabl (FP), on the town square in front of 200 of their classmates from the third and fourth grades. In this they demand an end to the merger plans – or at least a better exchange of information between the education department and teachers, parents and students. The student representatives from both schools got together and collected 600 signatures within two days. “We don’t want this merger to happen,” says Rahel Fürlinger, student representative of HAK 1.

Students not yet informed

As reported by the OÖN, the Education Directorate of Upper Austria confirmed on Wednesday that the schools should be gradually merged from the 2024/2025 school year. The aim is that the schools, which are already housed in one building, would use synergies and continue to improve the quality of teaching.

The faculty of both schools would remain intact. The students who start in the fall and those who are currently attending the schools could complete their chosen specializations by the time they graduate from high school. The school autonomy will not be interfered with, the merged HAK can continue to decide on its school priorities.

However, the students fear that the new school with 1,200 students will become too impersonal. In addition, they were not involved in the process – in fact, the Education Directorate had not previously given the parents and students of the commercial academies any general information.

Rabl wants to mediate

Mayor Rabl accepted the petition. “Basically, the commercial academies are the responsibility of the federal government and the education department. So I don’t get involved in terms of content,” he says. However, he would like a better flow of information to the professors and students and is available as a mediator. On April 28, he sent an invitation to a meeting with everyone involved to Karin Lang, the person responsible in the education department. “This has so far remained unanswered, I find that regrettable,” says Rabl.

The staff representatives of HAK 2 also opposed the merger plans in a statement yesterday. Both schools have their own profile that they have developed over decades. The merger would result in an organizationally more cumbersome, impersonal school and, as a result, poorer educational support. From the point of view of the staff representatives, it has not been sufficiently clarified what advantages the merger could bring. They suspect a hidden austerity measure.

According to the staff representatives, the fact that the two provisional headmasters, Gottfried Haider (HAK 1) and Friedrich Roitner (HAK 2), will no longer be available for their posts from the end of August is also due to the plans – they would have thrown it down in frustration.

The staff representatives are therefore demanding that Education Director Alfred Klampfer stop the merger plans. They also demand that the posts of headmasters for both schools be advertised in a timely manner.

Source: Nachrichten

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