Flemish education is under enormous pressure. Many young people have no longer mastered the minimum. What do you think the school, teacher and class schedule of the future should look like? And how do we become smarter than we already are?
According to national and international studies such as TIMSS and Pisa, quality is improving of Flemish education quickly backwards. The free fall manifests itself in all regions. Many young people have no longer mastered the bare minimum. They’re missing the basics. Our top performers are becoming scarcer and the general trend is that young people’s arithmetic and writing skills are becoming increasingly poor. That causes a downward spiral.
This decline has been exacerbated in recent years by the corona pandemic and the teacher shortage. On the other hand, the pressure on the boiler is increased by the tightness on the labor market. Companies are getting nervous and begging for talent – from welders to engineers. Well trained, that is.
Teachers – from nursery to higher education – confirm the negative trend. They also indicate that quality is under pressure. Frequently recurring themes are the more diverse class groups, the quality of the manuals, parents dropping out, the increasing planning burden, the pressure from Brussels, the general reading and the many tasks that teachers take on. In many schools this creates the feeling that the mayonnaise is no longer suitable. Often resulting in staff outages and director changes.
Keep it afloat
In the background, the mental health of young people is increasingly causing headaches for schools and we seem to be slowly drifting away from inclusive education.
In all these aspects there is one constant: education is not an island. Problems in society also seep into the classroom. From refugee children and empty lunch boxes to artificial intelligence and distance learning. Only: how do we as a society ensure that our education remains above water – or according to some: resurfaces?
At the same time, there is still a lot of optimism – and rightly so. Magical things happen every day between the start and end of the school bell. There is tons of passion and talent there. And there is also a lot going on in the educational field. We give you the opportunity to think about the future of education. What do you think the school, teacher and class schedule of the future should look like? And how do we become smarter than we already are?
With Save the Future, De Standaard is looking for your extraordinary solutions for the challenges in education this week.