Schools to close for extra half-day holiday on 24 December

Schools to close for extra half-day holiday on 24 December
Credit: Belga

Schools in Belgium have been given permission to close their doors earlier on Christmas Eve, which this year falls on a Friday, essentially giving pupils and teachers an extra half-day of holidays.

Education ministers for both Flemish and French-speaking education announced that they will be giving out early Christmas presents, as schools don’t have to stay open during the afternoon of Friday 24 December, marking a slightly earlier start to the holidays.

“This decision was made earlier in May when schools were informed about this decision. The entire day is a class day, however, educational institutions do not have to organise classes in the afternoon,” Flemish education minister Ben Weyts’ spokesperson told The Brussels Times.

Education minister Caroline Désir stated that the same rule would apply to French-speaking schools in Brussels and Wallonia, and confirmed that a circular will soon be distributed to inform educational institutions.

The rule will apply to all schools, academies and adult education centres to allow “pupils, students and staff to prepare in a more relaxed way for the festivities that are planned by many that evening.”

“The same decision was also taken before in 2004 and again in 2010 when the last day before the Christmas holidays fell on Christmas Eve, which is not an official holiday,” Weyts’ spokesperson said.

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