“Teacher shortage: greatest challenge”

Belgium is still without a new Flemish government, the body responsible for Dutch-medium education in Flanders, but the main schools’ networks have a clear message for the next education minister.

Both education networks say tackling the teacher shortage is the top challenge.

Raymonda Verdyck of GO!, the official schools network, notes it’s the first time schools have struggled to fill their teams at the start of the new schoolyear.  In addition the Flemish government should continue to invest in providing the best chances for all youngsters in education:  “There’s still a great chasm and we must continue to support groups facing challenges in addition to investing in quality”.

Lieven Boeve of the Roman Catholic schools’ network insists that a new legal statute for teachers setting out their legal position, rights and working conditions, should be the top priority: “A new government is a new opportunity.  It should work towards ensuring teachers enjoy good career prospects with schools being able to pursue genuine human resources policies. We must continue to work on strengthening the texture because that is the best way of guaranteeing high quality education.”

160,000 teachers and staff are employed in Flemish schools.