New School Year 2022/23 Starts in Vienna with New Challenges

More+ ♦ Published: September 4, 2022; 22:13 ♦ (Vindobona)

The new school year begins in Vienna and eastern Austria. In addition to the Corona challenges and the energy crisis, which have almost become the norm, compulsory schooling for all Ukrainian children is now coming, and voices have already been heard that a shortage of teachers is imminent.

Starting tomorrow, the classrooms will be full again! / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Thelmadatter, CC BY-SA 3.0

The new school year begins tomorrow for around half a million students in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. As reported by, a good part of this half a million students will be children who have fled Ukraine. From the coming school year, school attendance will be compulsory for all Ukrainian children.

Shortage of Teachers

"We have a massive staffing problem and this problem is above all other concerns," said Thomas Krebs, the representative of compulsory school teachers, according to ORF. He warns, "There are quite a few schools that don't know if there will be so many teachers on Sept. 5 that you can say: The basic needs of the school, teaching is once secured."

However, the Viennese education director Heinrich Himmer promises that every child who is of school age will receive instruction. According to ORF, the Viennese director of education explained that it may be that in one or two cases, for example, bridging solutions will have to be sought and that colleagues will have to be asked to add one or two classes." However, a good education in Viennese schools is guaranteed.

But Himmer also said, according to ORF, ss there are increasing challenges in getting the best-qualified people into schools. All over Austria, schools are looking for qualified employees.

According to ORF, digital literacy, a new compulsory subject is on the timetable in the first three grades of AHS lower and middle school.

Corona Regulations in the new School year

When it comes to the Corona rules there are also some innovations. Unlike last year, there is no general obligation to take a CoV test at the start of the school year, nor do they have to wear masks.

The coronavirus rules are similar to those that ended the previous school year. While there is no general testing and masking requirement, the school headmaster can order antigen testing or masks for up to two weeks in case of infections, or longer with the approval of the education directorate.

Symptomless CoV-positive students are allowed to attend classes wearing FFP2 masks, and symptomless positive teachers at AHS and BMHS, and in some provinces also at compulsory schools, are allowed to teach with FFP2 masks.