Trainee teachers will help in class when Flemish schools reopen
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    Trainee teachers will help in class when Flemish schools reopen

    The reopening must, above all, be "safe and manageable," said Weyts. Credit: Belga

    Flemish Minister for Education, Ben Weyts, wants to set students in their final year of teacher training to work when the schools reopen from 15 May.

    The reopening must, above all, be “safe and manageable,” said Weyts in the Education Commission of the Flemish Parliament.

    Weyts wants to involve students in their final year of teacher training to help out when the schools reopen. “We have talked to university colleges, and are also trying to create a win-win scenario there. More than 3,000 students in the teacher training programme have not been able to do an internship yet, and the education sector is short-staffed,” said Weyts. “So, let’s put them to work in the classroom,” he added.

    To organise childcare in a safe way when schools will open again, Weyts wants to look for extra locations outside the schools. “This way, the pressure on schools can be reduced a little,” he said.

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    On Tuesday, the education sector in Flanders decided to relax certain guidelines regarding the reopening of the schools from 15 May that were announced by Belgium’s National Security Council on Friday.

    A maximum of 14 children per class will be allowed instead of 10, provided they have a minimum space of 4 square metres per child, and the wearing of face masks will not be mandatory in all cases.

    Additionally, Weyts said he is also looking into a financial compensation for the schools, and pointed to the broader emergency fund of €200 million announced by the Flemish government. However, no decision has been made on how exactly the funds will be distributed.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times