This page was last modified on 28 October 2016, at 13:47.

Belgium-French-Community:Overview

From Eurydice

Jump to: navigation, search

Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

Belgium-French-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-French-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-French-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-French-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

 

Belgium (French Community)

Key features of the education system

Educational competence

In Belgium the Communities are responsible for education, with the exception of three competences which remained a federal matter: - the determination of the beginning and the end of compulsory education, - the minimum requirements for the issuing of diplomas, - the regulation of retirement for employees in the educational system. Instruction in each community is provided in the language of the community in question. The French Community of Belgium has competence in particular for cultural affairs and the use of languages, as well as education, childhood, youth, and research. The Government of the French Community has four ministers directly concerned by childcare and education: a Minister for Education (responsible for education starting from the pre-primary stage), a Minister for Early Childhood (among others), a Minister for Higher Education, Media and Scientific Research and a Minister for Social Advancement Education, Youth, Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities. A fifth Minister is responsible for the budget, civil service and administrative simplification for the French Community and a sixth Minister for training (among other areas) for the Walloon Region.

Compulsory education

In order to guarantee the constitutional right to education, compulsory education has been introduced for all children residing in Belgium. Education is compulsory from 6 until 18.

A pupil must attend fulltime compulsory education until the age of 15. From 15 onwards students may engage in part-time schooling and opt for a structured learning path which combines part-time vocational education in an educational institution with part-time employment.

Compulsory education in Belgium does not equal the duty to attend school. Parents may choose home schooling for their children.

Freedom of education and school choice

In Belgium, freedom of education is a constitutional right. Every (legal) person may organise education and establish schools to that aim. The government has the duty to organise undenominational education (under certain conditions).

The constitution also guarantees a freedom of school choice for the parents. Parents and children must have access to a school of their choice within reasonable distance of their residence.

Educational Networks

In Belgium, education is organised in various networks.

Education and training organised by the government is called official education. Education and training organised by a private person or organisation is known as free education (Government-aided private education).

A small number of schools are not recognised by the government. These private schools do not receive funding from the government, because they are not under the conditions laid down by the law.

In the French Community, there are three educational networks: • Public education is the official education organised by the French Community. It is subject to respect the philosophical and religious views of all parents ; • Government-aided public education run by the municipal or provincial authorities ; • Government-aided private education is organised by a private person or organisation. The network consists primarily of catholic schools. Next to denominational schools it includes schools not linked to a religion, e.g. alternative schools (on the basis of the ideas of Freinet, Montessori or Steiner) which apply specific teaching methods.

Umbrella organisations

In Belgium, the school boards of an educational network may join an umbrella organization. This association represents the school boards in government consultations and offers services to their schools such as drafting the curricula and timetables.

Pupil guidance centres

In Belgium, pupils, parents, teachers and school boards may address a pupil guidance centre for guidance, information or advice. The services of these centres are free and can be primarily situated within the following four domains: • Learning and studying • School career • Preventive health care • Socio-emotional development


Stages of the education system

Primary education

In Belgium, pre-secondary education comprises both pre-school education and primary education.

Pre-school education is accessible for children from 2,5 to 6. Although it is not obligatory, almost all children participate in pre-primary education. Pre-school education supports the versatile formation of children and stimulates their cognitive, motor and affective development.

Primary education is targeted at children from 6 to 12 years old and comprises six subsequent school years. A child usually starts primary education when it is six years old and thus obliged to engage in education.

When successfully completing primary education children are granted a certificate.

Secondary education

In Belgium, secondary education is organised for youngsters from 12 to 18. Fulltime secondary education contains three stages and various types of education.

Each stage consists of two grades. In the third stage of vocational secondary education the successful completion of a third grade is necessary in order to obtain the certificate of upper secondary education. In the first stage of secondary education a common curriculum is offered. Pupils make a choice of study only at the start of the second stage.

From the second stage onwards four different types of education are offered. In the French Community, education takes four different forms (general, technical, artistic and vocational) and consists of two streams (the transition stream and the qualification stream). The transition stream prepares pupils for higher education whilst also offering opportunities to enter the labour market, whereas the qualification stream prepares pupils to enter the labour market while also enabling them to continue their studies in higher education. General education is a transition stream, whereas vocational education is a qualification stream. Technical education and artistic education can be organised in the transition stream or in the qualification stream. Pupils choose a course of study within one of these types of education.

In Belgium, a certificate of upper secondary education grants unrestricted access to higher education.

Special needs education

In Belgium, besides mainstream education there also exits special needs (pre)primary and secondary education. Special needs education is organized for children who need temporary or permanent specific support because of a physical or mental disability, serious behavioural or emotional problems or severe learning disabilities.

However, in July 2015, the Parliament of the French Community adopted by decree further steps with regard to guidance and support of integration for students from special need education into ordinary education.


System of alternating learning and working

In Belgium, when a pupil is 15 or 16 years old (s)he may enter a system of alternating learning and working. All youngsters in part-time education are obliged to take part in learning and working for at least 28 hours a week. Part-time learning and working is organized in: • a centre for part-time education ; • a centre for apprenticeships.

In the French Community, in a Centre for Dual Vocational Education (CEFA, Centre d’Enseignement et de Formation en Alternance), pupils take classes for 15 hours a week. These classes are supplemented with a working experience which matches the programme. Pupils can obtain the same certificates and qualifications as in ordinary full-time qualification-stream education, or lower levels of qualification via specific profiles.

In the French Community, apprenticeships are organised by IFAPME (the Walloon Institute of Dual Vocational Education and Training for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) and the SFPME (Small and Mid-Sized Companies Training Service in the Brussels-Capital Region). These two institutions organise dual vocational courses known as ‘apprenticeship contracts’ which satisfy the compulsory schooling requirement.


Higher education

In Belgium, higher education contains programmes which result in the degree of bachelor, master and doctor. Also higher dual vocational education is part of the level of higher education.

Higher dual vocational education

In the French Community, higher dual vocational education is defined as “instruction in which the skills needed to obtain a degree from a higher education institution are partly acquired in the workplace and partly within this higher education institution. In addition to masters in the dual system already in place, the Government of the French Community adopted on 30th June 2016 the decree which generalizes a dual teaching system at “Hautes Ecoles” and universities.

Bachelor

Bachelor programmes in Belgium may be both professionally oriented and academically oriented. Professionally oriented bachelor programmes are primarily aimed at practicing a profession and offer a direct access to the labour market. Academically oriented bachelor programmes focus on a broad academic education or an education in the arts. They aim at offering access to a master programme or to the labour market.

Master

In Belgium, master programmes focus on advanced scientific or artistic knowledge or competences which are needed for the independent practice of science or arts, or for practicing a profession. They are rounded off by a master thesis.

Lifelong learning

Part-time education in the arts

In Belgium, part-time education in the arts is additional education and is targeted at both children, youngsters and adults. Participants may register on a voluntary base and pay enrolment fees. PEA aims at the artistic formation of children and adults and so contributes to their development of their personality.

Adult education

In Belgium, adult education is unrelated to the initial educational career. Course participants may obtain a recognized diploma, qualification or certificate in adult education.

In the French Community, adult education and training is mainly provided in two types of institutions : schools and training or education centres.



Eurypedia describes education and training in the French Community from a comparative viewpoint, whereas the website of the Ministry presents very comprehensive, regularly updated information about the different levels of the education system. Statistical information about the education system may be obtained from the website of Etnic.

Other websites are intended for target groups outside the school system in the strict sense of the term. The website of the Office for Birth and Childhood relates to childcare, while a number of other websites deal with training for adults, in particular vocational training for job-seekers and workers, in the Walloon Region or in the Brussels-Capital Region, dual vocational education and training and training for the self-employed and for small and medium-sized enterprises, in the Walloon Region or in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Structure of the national education system

2016 diagram BE fr.pngsource: Eurydice 2016


Common European Reference Tools Provided by the Eurydice Network