Driving Faculties vs. Digital Classes – WELT

Business opinion poll

Digital lessons? Driving schools prefer to remain offline

Student driver and teacher in practical lessons Student driver and teacher in practical lessons

Student driver and teacher in practical lessons

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

Transport politicians in the Bundesrat are considering whether home schooling should be an alternative to long-term educated drivers. However, a survey shows that the vast majority of traditional service providers are against it. There is now a report even warning of the dangers to road traffic.

DrDriving schools in Germany are resisting the introduction of purely digital theoretical lessons. They justify their refusal in the first place with the resulting lower quality of training.

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

Mediation in dangerous situations

In an industry association survey of 400 driving schools and more than 800 learner drivers, available to WELT AM SONNTAG, respondents expressed similar concerns.

76 percent of driving schools in the state feel that potentially dangerous situations can be best conveyed in face-to-face lessons. And 78 percent questioned the quality of what they learned online only.

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Currently, direct lessons at the driving school are again mandatory. However, transportation politicians in the Federal Council are considering whether distance learning should be feasible as a long-term alternative. This will hurt many driving schools economically. They fear sales will decrease due to competition from online service providers.

But the educated drivers surveyed are also skeptical: about half of them would like to attend theory lessons, but most would like to receive additional e-learning offers. The third supports a mix of face-to-face classes. Only 11 percent want to complete the theory part digitally.

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

“Distance learning cannot provide the same quality of preparation for hands-on training as face-to-face teaching, which links the learning content of theory with practice,” says Jürgen Kopp, president of the Federal Federation of Driving Instructors Associations. Additionally, driving instructors in digital theory lessons may be less responsive to students with learning disabilities.

More driving lessons, higher costs

“It is expected that some of the content can only be taught with additional hands-on hours,” Cobb says. This will affect driver’s license costs for many students.

According to neuroscientist Spitzer, distance learning means that educated drivers from socially disadvantaged groups in particular have less chance of getting a driver’s licence.

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