With the League of Families coordinating, heavyweights in the education sector are sending an open letter to the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. As revealed by our colleagues from Le Soir, we find among them the Ufapec (the federation of associations of parents of free education), several unions (SEL-Setca, CSC-Teaching and CGSLB-Teaching), the Committee of French-speaking students and the League for the Rights of the Child. Other organizations are supporting the operation, but remain in the background at this stage, in particular the CGSP-Education and the General Delegate for Children’s Rights.
All are calling for a reform of annual school rhythms. The first project of this type dates back to 1991 with the conclusions of a commission charged with studying the question by the French Community. In 2018, the King Baudouin Foundation tried to relaunch the idea with the Ligue des Familles, but without success. It is his proposal that the signatories of the open letter put back on the table: a rhythm of seven weeks of lessons followed by two weeks of leave. The Christmas holidays would act as a pivot.
The other holidays (All Saints’ Day, Carnival and Easter) would no longer necessarily fall during a period of leave, but the related public holidays would be kept. By applying this calendar between September 1 and June 30, students lose two weeks of learning. Therefore, the project promoters recommend starting the year systematically on a Monday and ending it on a Friday, including after July 1. In addition, the summer vacation would be shortened by two weeks, taken at the end of August. As a result, the first period of the school year would consist of nine weeks instead of seven for the others.