Parental alarm over crowded European schools

4th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Parents have sparked concern about the number of students at European schools in Brussels, warning that classes are too full.

4 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Parents have sparked concern about the number of students at European schools in Brussels, warning that classes are too full.

Since the May 2004 expansion of the European Union, the schools have been inundated with students from the new member states.

The situation at the European School in the Brussels district of Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe is of most concern, Flemish broadcaster VRT reported on Friday.

It said the school has a capacity to accommodate 2,400 pupils, but a staggering 3,050 students have been enrolled this year.

Consequently, 32 students are being cramped into one classroom.

Parents association spokesman Jean-Paul Soyer said the school had reached its limits. "You simply can't fit any more pupils in" he told newspaper 'De Standaard'.

Parents are now raising the matter with the High Council of European Schools to ensure schools are not forced to turn students away next year.

A 4th European School is to open in the Laken city district in 2009, but parents claim a 5th is needed. They said the school in Laken will be full by the time it opens.

Accusing the EU of a lack of vision, disgruntled parents said authorities failed to prepare adequately for last year's expansion with 10 new member states.

Currently, there are three European Schools in Brussels: located in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe, Elsene and Ukkel.

The schools are aimed at children of EU officials posted to Brussels. In the years that followed, children of diplomats were also allowed to attend.

However, due to greater demand since the EU expansion, the schools are now only accepting children of EU civil servants.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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