Weyts pushes further: education remains yellow in code. “How can…


The rising corona figures do not affect Flemish education for the time being. In consultation with the educational umbrella organizations and trade unions, Ben Weyts pushed through: the schools remain open full-time. “Irresponsible”, according to ACOD Education. “Given the current corona situation, this is impossible to explain.”

Code yellow remains in effect in education, says Weyts.
Video: TVL

With much fanfare, education minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) announced the education plan for this school year at the end of June. The tenor was clear: the schools would never again close their gates completely. Should the coronavirus again circulate strongly in society, they would switch to code orange – in which the second and third grade of secondary school could physically attend class week after week – or even to code red.

But Weyts is currently stubbornly sticking to code yellow, despite the virus’s fierce advance in society. He bases this on the figures that the CLBs collected about the infections in schools.


Since September 28, 1,795 secondary and primary school students have been infected. 7,488 students are out of a quarantine. Also 627 staff are currently in quarantine, 411 teachers are effectively infected. “The detailed plans and good follow-up, within a strictly controlled environment, appear to yield better results with regard to COVID distribution than outside the school walls,” says Weyts.

According to his reasoning, the virus barely circulates within the school walls. But the original school plans indicate that schools should switch to orange “when the virus is circulating strongly in society”, and not just within school buildings.

Nevertheless, the educational umbrella organizations were also asking to stick to code yellow for the time being, and even the VSOA Education trade union is satisfied. “I understand the decision,” says chairman Marnix Heyndrickx. “Only 0.15 percent of the total number of students is currently infected. That doesn’t seem like much to me, especially when we look at the rest of society. I therefore think it is appropriate not to take immediate action and to wait until Monday to re-examine the situation. Especially since the Consultation Committee will present the barometer on Friday. ”


Another union, ACOD Education, is far less understanding of Weyts’ decision. “We absolutely do not agree with this,” said chairwoman Nancy Libert. “Given the current corona situation, it is impossible to explain that we remain yellow in code. We just believe that the scripts we have worked so hard on should be applied. At the moment this means switching to code orange, or even code red. ”

So next Monday, all educational partners will meet again to re-evaluate the corona situation and associated color code. Weyts already indicates that there is indeed “a willingness to switch to code orange”. But it is also quite possible that the scripts associated with code orange and red will be adjusted, so that all students can still go to school full-time under all circumstances.

“I’m a cool lover of that,” says Heyndrickx of VSOA Education. “I am prepared to review a number of measures, from the point of view of organizability: eating lunch in a classroom bubble, for example. But even under Orange, getting everyone to go to school full-time, only the virologists can convince me of that. ”

Everything therefore indicates that all schools will remain fully open for some time, both those in primary education and those in secondary education. Only for adult education and part-time arts education has already been formally decided to invoke code orange.

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