For the past few days Belgium has been living in containment. We are not (yet) in complete containment, but we have been recommended to stay home as much as possible. The government has therefore taken the decision to close establishments and provide telework to certain sectors. As far as education is concerned, primary and secondary schools are open, but teachers do not give lessons. Schools remain open for children who have no choice but to come to school because the parents work in the medical sector, in supermarkets, police, education etc. Regarding the courses, in schools where there is an online platform, teachers and students continue their courses online.
But this is only in schools where students and parents come from a social middle class. The children all have internet and a computer at home. For many public schools, this is not the case, teachers send lessons by email, for those who have one, and others send it by mail. A much more critical situation in terms of equal opportunities.
Fortunately for the students, teachers are not allowed to give new subjects but mostly revision, so students will not be stuck on it. At least that is the case so far. Parents, students and faculty remain very concerned by this situation which is very close to the end of the year exams.
For Erasmus+ students abroad, they have all been repatriated. At the moment there is no more news on the situation. This is also the case for students doing their internship in Belgium. Students do not know if the exams and internships will be postponed, validated or cancelled.
We are therefore more in fear of the future than the present regarding the continuity of learning and teaching. Those measures put in place don’t really reassure and convince parents and students.