New funding for learning assistance for and by youngsters

Summary

In new programmes to start in the autumn, students in higher education will act as mentors to underprivileged pupils in primary and secondary school

“Social commitment”

Flemish education minister Hilde Crevits has earmarked €115,000 for seven initiatives that find students in higher education helping younger students to study and in choosing an academic path. The initiatives, she said, will go a long way to developing learning competences and self-confidence among primary and secondary school students.

The selected projects involve the programmes Tutorbabbel at Ghent University, Leren thuis Leren at PXL University College in Hasselt, Leren thuis Leren at University College Thomas More Kempen, Vas-y at Odisee University College’s Brussels campus, Brutus at the University Association Brussels and Studieondersteuning at Odisee’s campus Aalst/Waas.

The student mentors in the project are mostly involved in teaching, pedagogical or didactics studies. The students they are assigned to assist are underprivileged or have a learning deficit. The older students will help them with their homework, provide extra tutoring where needed and guide them in their choices of study streams.

This social commitment, said Crevits, will allow future teachers to acquire useful skills in recognising poverty and working with diverse groups of students. “The purpose is to improve the situation for vulnerable youngsters and their parents and to remove obstacles in the learning process,” she said. “At the same time, teaching students experience the social conditions of these pupils and take up an important social commitment. These are projects where youngsters learn from each other.”

Photo by Oliver Nimet / C.H.I.P.S. StampMedia 

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Educational system

The Flemish educational system is divided into two levels: primary (age six to 12) and secondary school (12 to 18). Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 18.
Types - There are three educational networks in Flanders: the Flemish Community’s GO! network, and publicly funded education – either publicly or privately run.
Not enough space - In recent years, Flemish schools have been struggling with persistent teacher shortages and a growing lack of school spaces.
No tuition fees - Nursery, primary and secondary school are free in Flanders.
1

million school-going children in 2013

30

million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013

11

percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma