Teacher ordered to leave Belgium despite living and working here for 9 years

Teacher ordered to leave Belgium despite living and working here for 9 years
Credit: CCM Facebook.

A religious studies teacher at Cardinal Mercier College in Braine-l'Alleud has been ordered to leave Belgium, despite having lived in Belgium for nine years and graduating from a Belgian university, as his work visa was interrupted during the school holidays.

David MBombo is originally from Congo but has been in Belgium for 9 years. He worked in a school in Brussels before he was hired by Cardinal Mercier College for the 2021/22 school year.

The school decided to hire him again in September 2022, but he did not work in the summer.

"He did not work between 1 July and 29 August 2022. As there was an interruption in his work contract, the Region no longer recognises him as a worker and he should simply return to Congo," lamented the director of the establishment, Xavier Cambron. The news has mobilised both the students and teachers of the College.

Work permit refused

MBombo has claimed that he did not receive the order to leave Belgium in July 2022, hence why the school hired him again for September 2022. As with many non-appointed teachers, his contract was interrupted in July and August. On these grounds, his work permit was refused by the region.

Now the school is forced to suspend the contract with MBombo to avoid being in an illegal situation. The management of the school has expressed outrage towards the situation.

"The contract could only be renewed at the beginning of the school year, not before," the management stated. "Mr Mbombo was in an irregular situation between 1 July 2022 and 28 August 2022, not because of us but because of a legislative inadequacy, forcing a temporary teacher to be two months without a work contract."

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The director of the College is all the more unhappy in light of the teacher shortage, specifically the religion teacher shortage. "This teacher was fully satisfied and appreciated by both his colleagues and his pupils."

It was MBombo's students who alerted the school to their teacher's situation. The school has lodged appeals with the competent authorities but has few other levers at its disposal.

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