As many as 400 Flemish primary schools left without textbooks
With the new school year just over a week and a half away between 350 and 400 Flemish primary schools are set to be left without textbooks. Saturday’s editions of the dailies ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ and ’De Morgen’ report that delivery issues at the Dutch company Cloudwise that supplies the schools with textbook mean that tens of thousands of youngsters across Flanders and Brussels will have no textbooks when the new school year starts on 1 September.
Pieter-Jan Crombez of the Flemish Catholic Schools’ Board told the papers “That this is a very annoying and unacceptable situation for our schools”.
A year ago, the Dutch company Cloudwise took over responsibility for schoolbook orders from the Flemish Standaard Boekhandel bookstore chain. However, now with the new school year about to start Cloudwise says that it has “data and acquisition issues”.
Cloudwise’s Director Philip Vermeylen told journalists "Our logistical partner responsible for the reception, processing and delivery of the schoolbooks from all the various publishers is responsible for the current delay”.
"We are doing all we can to make our logistical partner deploy more means and manpower. If necessary, we will take legal action. This is a situation that is beyond our control”.
Whatever happens between now and 1 September it seems highly likely that that pupils at as many as 400 schools will start the school year without new textbooks.
The Flemish Catholic Schools’ Board’s Pieter-Jan Crombez says that the probability of a lack of textbook is a serious issue. “Despite promises the company is unable to fulfil the conditions of the framework agreement it took over from Standaard Boekhandel. This is indeed a serious problem that will make further cooperation difficult”.