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Random selection in Dutch-speaking secondary schools

© Belga
Enrolment will occur by virtue of a randomly generated number system, starting with enrolments for the 2018-2019 school year.
© Belga

Enrolment in Dutch-speaking secondary schools in Brussels will henceforth take place through random selection rather than chronologically. The chronological system currently enrols pupils at a school in the order that parents approach the school, normally online, for this purpose.

At the current time, the principle of ‘first come, first served’ applies. As a consequence, the schools with the best reputation are overwhelmed and are quickly fully subscribed.

Petrus Van den Cruyce says, “The current system, with schools being flooded with enrolment requests from the first few seconds, is also a form of lottery.” He is the Chairman of LOP Brussel, a collaborative platform for equal opportunities in education.

He says that this system is unfair to the extent that it favours families who either have the right connections or who have a faster computer.

From the school year 2018 to 2019 chronological enrolment will be replaced by random selection. Van den Cruyce explains, “The I.T. system will generate a number for each pupil. All of the numbers the system produces will be ordered at random.”

The LOP brings together the managements of Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels, as well as parent teacher associations and socio-economic organisations.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times