Elections 2024: CD&V unveils education plans, aims to boost technical training

Flemish Christian democrats CD&V have unveiled their education programme for the upcoming elections. They want to strengthen technical education to fill the vacancies in industry and elsewhere, and warned against politicians becoming too involved in the sector.

CD&V presented its education programme at a company in Affligem, Flemish Brabant, to draw attention to the need for strong technical education to fill the many vacancies in Belgian industry and elsewhere.

According to CD&V, other parties want to reduce the number of subjects and cut technical courses for which few students enrol. Party leader Sammy Mahdi pointed to socialists Vooruit's platform, which calls for a "rationalisation" of secondary education.

"This is unacceptable," Mahdi said. "There is simply a huge need for qualified technical profiles today. Instead, we want to invest in the technical and STEM fields because they are crucial for our labour market."

Too much political interference

Mahdi also criticised Vooruit's plan to provide free school meals. His party sees it as a sign that politicians are interfering too much in schools.

CD&V's former Education minister Hilde Crevits, meanwhile, criticised plans by Flemish Education minister Ben Weyts of N-VA to introduce targets in pre-school education. "We want to give teachers more respect, freedom and trust," she said.

"We want to give teachers more respect, freedom and trust"

Other points in the CD&V education programme include extending the seniority period for career changers and ensuring that new teachers can get a full-time job in their first year. The party also wants to abolish the "teacher specialist" status, which it helped to introduce as part of the Flemish government.

Mahdi would not say whether CD&V would accept a Vooruit Education minister after the elections. "But Vooruit's policies and programme are unacceptable," he said. "Our views could hardly be further apart." With "other parties", he said he saw opportunities to work together on education.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

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