According to the color code imagined for the sector, it is indeed a “yellow code” which is maintained, communicate at the end of the afternoon the office of the French-speaking Minister of Education Caroline Desir and that of the Flemish Minister Ben Weyts.
Increased vigilance and adjustments
“On the basis of the latest opinion of the GEES experts and the taking into account of epidemiological, pedagogical and social considerations, the Ministers of Education confirm the application of the yellow code for the start of the school year, at all levels (nursery, primary , secondary, artistic education at reduced hours, higher education, social promotion), but by imposing increased vigilance and some adjustments, ”communicates the cabinet Desir.
Concretely, there will therefore be five days of lessons at school for students of all levels. After a 2019-2020 end of year disrupted by the pandemic, with students staying for long weeks at home, the start of the 2020 school year was seen as an important step to resume more “normal” education and less at risk of dropping out of school. .
Last June, the education ministers of the three communities agreed on a common color code (green, yellow, orange or red) accompanied by practical measures to be implemented according to the evolution of the epidemic. At the time, given the ebb of the pandemic then observed, but pending the availability of a vaccine or sufficient collective immunity, it was decided that the September re-entry would be in code yellow.
We feared in recent days that this situation could change, given that the figures for coronavirus contamination have been on the rise for several weeks. But this is not the case: we maintain “yellow”, barely a small step above green, which would correspond to a normal situation. If the yellow was previously mentioned as a four-day week for secondary school, with Wednesday working from home, this feature has been abandoned, because “the GEES experts have reported that the limited epidemiological impact of the day without school on Wednesday did not sufficiently compensate for the organizational side effects for schools ”. It will therefore be a full week at school for everyone, with some exceptions.
We maintain the possibility, locally where the pandemic situation “is acute” and for certain levels of secondary education only (second and third levels), of moving to an education mixing approximately half and half of distance and online courses. face-to-face, at school. For the rest of secondary and primary, we can consider switching to “code orange”, with reinforced measures, if the local situation requires it, “but the students can continue to attend school full time in this case. of figure ”. Any decision to change the color code will have to go through the minister, on a proposal from the local crisis unit.
The ministers of the three communities, and the actors of education (unions, organizing authorities, parents), wanted to “allow the maximum presence of students in class, facing a teacher. Nothing replaces face-to-face teaching, and the digital offer can only constitute an alternative when security regulations require it, ”explains Minister Caroline Desir’s office via press release.