Asylum seekers 'not welcome' in town's schools
7 September 2006, BRUSSELS — The Beveren Mayor has asked primary schools in the district of Kieldrecht to stop accepting enrolments of asylum seeker children despite the fact that is in breach of education legislation and international principles.
7 September 2006
BRUSSELS — The Beveren Mayor has asked primary schools in the district of Kieldrecht to stop accepting enrolments of asylum seeker children despite the fact that is in breach of education legislation and international principles.
The Christian Democrat CD&V Mayor, Marc Van de Vijver, was referring to the 35 to 40 children of Roma gypsy families.
Van de Vijver believed the children should not be enrolled at school because they don’t speak Dutch.
"That would completely disrupt the social basis in Kieldrecht with all the consequences of such," he said.
The Roma asylum seekers have been refused asylum in Belgium and are living illegally in squatter houses in the village of Doel.
The Movement for Children Without Papers is outraged by the mayor's comments. "Children have a right to school and must be enrolled, that is the law," Jozef Hertsens said.
The management of the council school De Droomwolk refused to comment on the mayor's instructions on Wednesday.
But together with the Education Alderman, the Beveren mayor has direct responsibility over the district's municipal education.
It is also not known whether the public primary school, De Zonnewijzer, will follow the mayor's instructions.
Then primary school De Kreek indicated via the education official with the Ghent diocese that it is out of the question to exclude these children.
"Not only is this legally out of the question, it is against our principles," Carlos Haerens from the East Flemish bishopric said.
"We want to give every child a fair chance. De Kreek has already enrolled foreign speaking children."
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news