1 in 5 teachers off sick in Brussels Catholic schools

1 in 5 teachers off sick in Brussels Catholic schools
Credit: Belga

The head of the Catholic schools system in Brussels has called for quarantine rules to be eased as one in five of their teachers in Brussels and French-speaking Wallonia are off sick.

“We are all waiting for the quarantine rules to be changed,” Etienne Michel said on BEL-RTL breakfast radio. “That could have an impact on the absentee figures in our schools.”

On Wednesday morning, ministers in the health and education sectors discussed the quarantine issues causing such problems for schools. However, the talks failed bring about a softening of rules and further talks will be held.

Michel said that over the past two weeks, pupil absenteeism had doubled each week from 8%, to 14% and now 28%. Among teachers, the rate is now 21%.

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The State-backed Catholic education system accounts for approximately half of French-speaking school pupils. Michel said around 100 schools were shut and around 1,000 classes closed.

The Carnival school holidays this year fall at the end of February. Since January 10, those who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine following a high-risk contact, nor will they be required to take a PCR test.

Those who have not yet received a booster dose or received their second dose more than five months ago will still have to quarantine following a high-risk contact, but for a shorter period of between four and seven days.


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