Camping out for education
Today, Flemish primary schools in the capital will start enrolling specific groups of pupils.Today, Flemish primary schools in the capital will start enrolling specific groups of pupils. In order to ensure their child of a place, some parents have been camping in front of the school for almost a week.
By law, Flemish schools in Brussels are obliged to reserve 30 percent of student places to children from the underprivileged and another 40 percent to children whose parents are Dutch speakers.
In theory, this would leave every Flemish child in Brussels assured of a place in a Dutch speaking school. In reality, up to 80 percent of the children are of different origin, leaving only 20 percent of places for Dutch speaking children.
In order to secure a place in their local Flemish primary school, some parents have pitched their tents in front of the school building.
Some schools are more popular than others. According to the parents, this has nothing to do with elitism but all the more with their concern for the child’s linguistic development.
The Flemish Community Commission in Brussels has admitted there is a problem and has launched a website for Flemish parents to get in touch with each other.