Hundreds of special needs children have been denied school transport options due to a shortage of drivers and chaperones, according to various associations.
An open letter written by Association of Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, the Belgian Association for Children with Learning Difficulties, Coeur-à-Corps and Autism-Belgium, has called on ministers to take effective actions against this shortage.
Having been an issue for several years, the situation is now "intolerable," according to Bernard Hubien, secretary-general of UFAPEC, especially since the start of the new school year.
"It is the negligence of the responsible ministers that has created this crisis, because they have allowed an already problematic situation to worsen," Hubbies stated.
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Often, families are unable to accompany them themselves or one of the parents has to give up his or her job in order to drive the child, but now "most of these students have to stay at home and are therefore deprived of their fundamental right to education," the letter stated.
"You just can not leave these fragile children without school and their families in despair any longer," the letter deplored
"We are often told that the problem concerns few children," Hubien himself added, "but they still need school transport, even more than others."
As a result, "disabled people in our society have now been left on the sidelines."