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Monday, June 3, 2013

The need for change

We people always seem to feel the need for change - it can't be helped, I guess. Recently, our minister of education, Pascal Smet (imo not the sharpest knife in the drawer), has suggested some necessary changes to our system of education.

There is not yet a revolution among the teachers - we are all way too busy with our examinations - but I can guess not many of us would agree to his plans! He wants to break down the difference between general options and technical ones.

Now I ask you, why shouldn't there be a difference between kids who are good with their hands, and others who are good in thinking? We need plumbers, electricians, carpenters etc. We also need professors at university. So please, leave the structure that is. For all it's worth, because after 35 years I've seen many changes and not all of them for the better.

Another (stupid) plan of our minister was to shorten the summer holidays. He had to change those plans after lots of protest, not only from teachers and pupils, but of the whole of the country.

A clever man knows when to make changes. They are applauded when they bring structural progression. Unfortunately, some of the better ideas were shot down after a couple of years (when another government was formed). Some 30 years ago, minister De Croo had the insight the introduce a new form of education, creating more schools and giving more teachers a job. Then you only had classes of about 15 students, so you could give everyone the care he or she needed. You also needed only 17 hours to work full time (instead of 20 now) - the three remaining hours were paid because you had to attend meetings and had to deal with parents. But after four years De Croo's plans were buried again, lots of his new schools closed and more than 3,000 teachers without a job (I was one of them, also my sister was).

Right now everyone wants to save money. But I don't think you can save money on education. We all work hard to give our students a decent education. We do a lot for which we aren't paid. Can you expect more???

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