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Brussels, April 28 – Several thousand teachers marched in Brussels to express their dissatisfaction with the Belgian education system.
The demonstrators on Thursday denounced teaching conditions, such as an administrative overload and an unsustainable student-teacher ratio, causing classes to be overcrowded, reports Xinhua news agency.
The trade unions organising the march also criticised a draft coalition agreement in French-speaking education, which they say will have a negative impact on the rights of teachers, while it will not solve the prevailing problems.
“We are so busy with administration, management and everything else that is not pedagogical, that it is no longer possible to do a proper job,” said Nathalie Brousniche, a third-grade teacher at a primary school in the city of Charleroi.
Benoit Paternoster, a secondary school science teacher, highlighted what he saw as the dismantling of education and the lack of qualified teaching staff.
He also criticised the administrative overload and the difficulty for pupils to find their way in the education system.
The issue of evaluating teachers on their pedagogical skills was also raised at the event.
Nadia Kervyn, a teacher at the Divin Sauveur school in Brussels, said she would prefer to revert to the previous system of being evaluated by inspectors.
Serge Carpiaux, a French teacher in Eghezee, advocated an objective evaluation involving professionals.
The demonstrators called on politicians to implement reforms to improve the education system.