‘Groundbreaking’ dual-learning system to start next year


The 2018-19 academic year will see the roll-out of Flanders’ dual-learning system, in which secondary school students can spend 14 or more hours a week on the workfloor

On-the-job school

The government of Flanders has approved the final version of the dual-learning decree, the system in which secondary school pupils will be able to combine their studies with training at a company. The system is inspired by successful initiatives abroad, particularly in Germany.

Last year, the trial project School Desk in the Workplace was launched, with dual-learning schemes taking place across the region. This year, 332 students in 21 disciplines are participating, about three times more than last year. Syntra jobs training centre is working with 83 schools on the scheme.

Starting on 1 September 2018, dual learning will be available to all professional (BSO) and technical (TSO) schools as well as part-time education centres. Participating students age 15 and older will spend a minimum of 14 hours a week at a company.

The goal of dual learning is to show pupils how their studies relate to the workplace, which the government sees as a way to reduce the drop-out rate and help fill bottleneck tech jobs. Education minister Hilde Crevits has called the roll-out of the system “groundbreaking,” while labour minister Philippe Muyters declared it “a historical step” and a win-win for youngsters and companies.
Photo courtesy onderwijskiezer.be

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.

million school-going children in 2013


million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013


percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma