Brussels: "Marshall Plan for our education"
The Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis has worked out that the Brussels Region will need 79 new schools within five years. The schools are required in order to address a projected shortage of places.
At present school places already come at a premium in the Brussels boroughs of Sint-Joost-ten-Node, Sint-Gillis, Schaarbeek and Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, where a school place cannot be found for every child.
There is a shortage of all types of schools: kindergartens, primaries and secondary schools.
Both the official and the Roman Catholic network face the same problem, which affects both Dutch-speaking and Francophone schools.
In kindergartens across the capital the number of pupils is expected to rise by 7,265 between 2010 and 2015. This means that an additional 34 kindergartens will be needed in the Brussels region by then.
In primary schools pupil numbers will rise by nearly 11,000, requiring a further 39 schools.
The growth in the number of secondary school pupils is more modest because it will take time before the higher birth rate becomes noticeable here. At least six extra secondary schools will be needed though.
The Prime Minister of the Brussels Region, Charles Picqué (Francophone socialist), has called on Francophones and Flemings in Brussels to sit round the table and discuss the matter. He told the press.: "We require a Marshall plan for our education."
The survey also reveals that 16% of school children in Brussels live outside the Brussels Region. 13% hail from Flanders. While most pupils from outside the Region originate from Flanders, most of them attend Francophone schools.