EU Commission issues report to Belgium to address concerns about inequalities in schools

Europe: The European Commission issued a report and recommendation to the authorities of Belgium on May 23 to address their concern about inequalities in the school system.

The report indicated the educational gap among the students, especially when it comes to their socio-economic as well as migrant status, is one of the biggest in the European Union.

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There are some concerns with the students with disabilities, as over one in three young adults with disabilities do not finish secondary education, affecting their higher education attainment and employment rates.

The EU admits that Belgium scores above average on the EU-level targets. It points out the decline in most education areas that demonstrate high levels of inequality. Lack of progress is concerning as the document states that one in five 15-year-old students in Belgium fails to perform basic mathematics, reading or science tasks.

Along with this, the teacher shortages are outlined as a part of the difficulty in improving the educational inequalities. Based on 2020 data, the job vacancy in the education sector in Belgium is more than double that of the Euro area.

In 2018, in the TALIS survey, the EU Commission report mentioned how teachers are increasingly diversifying classrooms without proper training or preparation.

As per the shortage, the nation is also struggling to bring new teachers into an educational institutions. New teachers often receive less favourable working conditions than veteran ones and receive fewer formal induction activities than the average EU in Belgium.

Meanwhile, the schools also lack professional development requirements as well as structure. Since TALIS 2018, the language communities have been taking measures to improve in this area.

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Furthermore, the report details how the portion of GDP that Belgium spends on education and its expenditure on employee compensation as a share of public spending on education. It is one of the highest in the European Union. This makes an improvement to the education system much more possible.

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