In French-speaking schools in the Brussels region, the number of students retaking years in secondary schools dropped from 13.7% in the 2019-2020 academic year to 6.2% in 2020-2021, it was announced on Saturday.
Given the huge upheaval and disruption caused by the pandemic and related restrictions, Education Minister Caroline Désir had called for understanding and flexibility. This has seen a rise in distance learning and hybrid classes, Belga News Agency reported.
In primary schools, the number of pupils needing to retake school years also dropped – from 2.9% to 2.4% in the same period. In addition, these drops were not accompanied by an increase in specialised education.
However, the health crisis has seen the number of students registered for home-schooling rise by over one third: from 1,984 to 3,187 children.
Furthermore, the coronavirus has seen school absence grow as well – and this is not taking into account quarantines that have also seen many classes close.
On a more positive note: for the first time in four years, there was no increase in spending occasioned by lateness and year retakes. Yet although the cost did not increase, it remained at close to €389 million.