Gypsy children win right to schooling
14 September 2006, BRUSSELS — A solution has been found ensuring the gypsy children in Doel will be able to attend one of the three primary schools in Kieldrecht.
14 September 2006
BRUSSELS — A solution has been found ensuring the gypsy children in Doel will be able to attend one of the three primary schools in Kieldrecht.
Flemish Education Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has offered to give each of the schools an extra full-time teacher on a temporary basis, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.
These teachers will be used to assist in the education of non-Dutch speaking children of gypsy families. The extra teachers will be employed for six months only.
The council school De Droomwolk has also agreed to enrol the gypsy children after discussions with Minister Vandenbroucke. The school had previously refused to accept the children.
The refusal came after Beveren Mayor Marc Van de Vijver urged Kieldrecht schools against enrolling the children of asylum seekers. Kieldrecht is a district of Beveren.
He was referring to the 40 children of rejected Roma gypsy asylum seeker families living in squats in Doel, another district of Beveren.
The Christian Democrat CD&V mayor was concerned the inflow of gypsy children would negatively impact the quality of education and urged the schools to reject them.
Public school De Zonnewijzer and open primary school De Kreek refused to follow the mayor's request, but the council school had no choice in the matter because the mayor was officially in charge.
But the request of the mayor was not only in breach of international principles, he had also asked the council school to breach the principle of equal education opportunities, which states that no student can be refused education unless the school is full.
Due to the intervention of Vandenbroucke, the mayor has backed down on his request, and correctly, according to the Socialist SP.A minister because "children belong at school, not on the street".
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news