"If there were no lessons, you can hardly organise an exam"

A secondary school in Izegem (West Flanders) has cancelled all exams.  The school blames the teacher shortage.

In most schools the exams are just around the corner, but at Prizma Campus VTI in Izegem this is a treat that is no longer on the menu just for now.  The school authorities say that pupils didn’t get enough lessons in some subjects because teachers fell ill or left during the course of the schoolyear and it was difficult to replace them.

School head Myriam Devriendt: “This was the case for Dutch and English from third grade onwards.  If there were no lessons, you can hardly organise an exam.  We tried to solve this conundrum by looking for alternatives like special tasks.  At the end of the day the curriculum wasn’t properly followed.  It’s not right to evaluate learning over the year as a whole”.

In some subjects all exams are dropped.  In other subjects, especially technical subjects, the evaluation will take account of the fact that pupils didn’t see part of the curriculum”.

“The problem is worse than in previous years.  We’ve been facing difficulties to find replacement teachers for technical and practical lessons for some time.  We try to get hold of people from the private sector, but the lack of job security puts people off.  Now it’s becoming difficult in general subjects too.  There’s nobody on the labour market to replace teachers of maths, French or Dutch”.   

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