Following an announcement on 14 May, stating that the European Schools of Brussels would remain closed until the end of the school year of 2019-2020 on 3 July, a new update was sent to parents last Friday (29 May 2020), announcing the schools partial reopening for four weeks, from 8 June until 3 July (please read our note to European School)*. Not only was the move a surprising 180º turn of events, but it also came with some issues that Generation 2004 analysed and reacted upon in a note to DG HR’s Director General, Gertrud INGESTAD.
A survey conducted by the Parents Associations of the European Schools of Brussels on 28 April showed many parents did favour sending their children to school if it opened on a voluntary basis if schools were to open on May 25. However, a majority said no.
With the current decision to reopen the schools, we identified several issues that many parents (many are Commission staff members) perceive as real problems.
- The end of online schooling, a service that must be maintained as there are children who live with persons who may be in the high-risk group and must not attend school, and will be severely penalised.
- Lack of clarity on the availability of school bus services – a fundamental service for parents that live far from the schools or that do not have a car.
- The voluntary nature of the return, which puts the onus on parents to make the decision: parents who, for the most part, are probably not comfortable to have to decide whether it is safe or not for their children to go to school during a pandemic.
- Note for the attention of Directors of the European Schools in Brussels