BELGA

When will schools reopen?

Flemish education minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) hopes a date can be agreed next week when a start can be made on reopening schools.  On Wednesday the national security council failed to provide any clarity with regard to this subject.

Under the measures extended till 3 May schools are only caring for vulnerable children and children of care staff. At home children are being taught for up to 4 hours a day online or using packs they take home with them. Subject matter will be revisited later on.

When schools will reopen is very unclear.  Education minister Weyts hopes to come up with a date next week following talks with the sector and other Belgian communities. He is eager to avoid any repeat of last night’s fiasco with regard to visits to care homes.

The minister indicated that in the education sector there is a belief any reopening will happen in phases and primary schools will be first. Maintaining distance is difficult in kindergarten.  Secondary school pupils are more independent and get more out of learning at a distance.  Trips to secondary school are often longer with more chance of picking up corona.

Mr Weyts promised that vocational schools will be looked at first when it’s the turn of secondary schools as the many activity lessons there are hard to supervise from behind a computer.