Flemish schools will extend the approaching autumn holiday until 11 November, following in the footsteps of Francophone schools in Wallonia and Brussels who announced similar measures earlier in the month.
This decision to extend the holiday by 3 days comes from Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts following consultation with the representatives of the field of education. Under the new rule, schools will now open again on Thursday 12 November, aiming to stay open until Christmas break.
“We’re not taking this decision with pleasure, because a lot of teaching time has already been lost due to corona,” said Weyts. “But according to the experts, even a limited extension of the vacation can now make a positive difference to society as a whole.
While schools and parents will now have time to prepare for the change, Weyts did acknowledge that the sudden shift may cause issues. “I do realize that this can cause organizational problems in some families,” says Weyts. “Parents have been prepared for autumn vacations, but now they need to find a solution.
“It’s the right decision to extend the vacations”, virologist Marc Van Ranst told VTM News. “Schools can reset themselves this way. It will slow down the spread of the virus because 12 days is about twice the incubation time”.