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Cash crisis lets truants go free

Published on 09/12/2003

9 December 2003

BRUSSELS – The Communaute Francaise is not checking on school attendance due to lack of funds, it has been revealed.

It is thought some 3,000 children are currently not attending school in Belgium.

The Communaute Francaise said it lacks funding to carry out proper inspections on school-age children.

Socialist (PS) MP Andre Bailly argued that monies from the federal education budget should be redirected into Flemish and francophone community coffers.

Currently, it has to be checked that children who attend school are on the national register.  What is not checked however is whether all children of school-age are registered at a school.

There is no legal framework to force secondary school children to attend school, contrary to primary school children – another area in which Bailly wants to see a change.

Bailly suggests reintroducing “school cards” which should be presented at the beginning of each school year. A file would then be created for each child, enabling attendance checks on pupils.

In the short-term, five extra inspectors will be hired at the Communaute Francaise to check on school attendance.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news