Most of the staff members of three Brussels schools stopped work for one hour on Friday at 10:20 AM to ask for the immediate closure of their establishments, without waiting for the upcoming school holidays.
The Redouté-Peiffer and Emile Gryzon institutes and the Herlin special education institute are concerned about coronavirus clusters, said Michel Oeyen, president of the Brussels-Capital section of SLFP-education, on Friday morning.
At the Redouté-Peiffer Institute, nearly 40 teachers are sidelined out of a total of 80, only three out of ten educators remain at their posts, and there is more than consistent absenteeism among pupils, according to SLFP.
The situation is reportedly similar among staff at the Emile Gryzon and Herlin Institutes.
The directors have asked the French Community Commission to close the schools. This request was relayed to the office of the minister-president of the Brussels government, Rudi Vervoort, who stated his intention not to suspend classes during the week of 26 October and to keep the schools open until the All Saints holiday, which was extended to 11 November.
He indicated that class closures are still possible according to the rules in force and that a new assessment of the situation in the schools is under way.
“There are teachers absent, but also many workers among the maintenance staff and therefore the premises are no longer being cleaned properly, which was a condition for the resumption of classes,” Oeyen pointed out.
“What percentage of teachers have to be quarantined for the organising authority to agree to close a school? We want to close the schools to put an end to the effect of the clusters and to resume classes in good conditions after the All Saints’ Day holidays.”
Oeyen called for the introduction of measures for when classes resume, such as the obligation to organise outdoor mask breaks so that everyone does not take their mask off at the same time during the lunch break.