The driving schools in Germany are resisting the introduction of purely digital theory lessons. They justify their rejection primarily with the resulting lower quality of training.

A report by the neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer on behalf of the industry association Moving supports this assessment and warns of increasing safety risks in road traffic in the long term due to distance learning.

In a survey by the industry association of 400 driving schools and more than 800 learner drivers, which is available to WELT AM SONNTAG, the participants expressed similar concerns.

76 percent of the driving schools in the state are of the opinion that possible dangerous situations in particular could be better conveyed in face-to-face lessons. 78 percent also questioned the quality of what they had only learned online.

Currently, face-to-face lessons in the driving school are mandatory again. However, transport politicians in the Federal Council are examining whether distance learning should be possible as an alternative in the long term. That would hit many driving schools economically. They fear lower sales due to competition from online providers.

But the learner drivers surveyed are also skeptical: about half would like the theory lessons to be attended, but most of them would like additional e-learning offers. One third supports a mix of face-to-face and online classes. Only eleven percent want to complete the theory part digitally.

The students see the greatest advantages in face-to-face teaching in the exchange with the teacher and other students. According to the assessment of almost 70 percent of those surveyed, correct driving behavior is conveyed better in personal contact.

“Digital distance learning cannot provide the same quality of preparation for practical training as face-to-face teaching, which interlocks the learning content of theory with practice,” says J├╝rgen Kopp, Chairman of the Federal Union of Driving Instructor Associations. In addition, driving instructors in digital theory lessons could respond less to students with learning difficulties.

“It is to be expected that some content can only be taught through additional practical hours.” That would affect the driver’s license costs for many students, says Kopp.

According to the neuroscientist Spitzer, distance learning means that learner drivers from socially disadvantaged groups in particular have less of a chance of acquiring a driver’s license.

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