New dual-learning system for secondary education


From 2017, a new system will be available to secondary school students who want to spend more than half of their study hours on a workfloor

Work study

Students in professional (BSO) and technical (TSO) secondary education will be able to follow a dual-learning system starting with the 2017-18 academic year. In dual-learning education, which is particularly successful in Germany, lessons are combined with practical experience in a business.

The measure is part of a plan by Flemish education minister Hilde Crevits and labour minister Philippe Muyters to improve on current programmes combining learning and working.

At the age of 15, BSO and TSO students will be required to choose between two options: stay full-time at school or spend 60% of their studies on the workfloor of a company. All students will ultimately receive the same diploma. Even if students in the dual-learning system don’t pass enough courses to earn a diploma, they will be rewarded with partial certificates for the skills they acquired on the workfloor.

The government also wants local business to play a bigger role. Companies will organise interviews to decide if students are ready for the responsibilities of work and will be involved in evaluating students’ final requirements.

A number of trial projects will launch this September to test the system in practice. From 2017, all current forms of part-time education and work experience will be replaced by the new dual-learning system.