Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) For its Dutch-language primary schools, the city of Brussels is looking for teaching assistants to assist teachers in the classroom where the needs are greatest. The city also wants to support the new assistants to follow a teacher training course, says Ans Persoons, alderman for Dutch-language education.
We already work with assistant educators who provide care in our schools before and after classes. Now we can also give them tasks during the day,” said ships Ans Persoons, according to a report by BRUZZ.
However, an assistant educator or care assistant is not the same as a teaching assistant. The former must also have a pedagogical competence diploma, which in practice means that they often have a teacher’s diploma. Only a secondary diploma is required for the new position.
According to Persoons, the fact that many teachers in Brussels come from Flanders contributes to the teacher shortage because they would also leave quickly when a position closer to home becomes available. “We hope to attract people from Brussels. Now 90 percent of the teachers in Brussels commute from Flanders,” it sounds.
Despite the enormous teacher shortage in Brussels, it is not the intention that the teaching assistants fill the position of teacher. “The teacher shortage is caused by an aging population, too few students in teacher training, and young teachers who quit quickly. But only a teacher can replace a teacher, so we want to guide these teaching assistants well and also support them to follow teacher training.”
We are currently collaborating with Erasmus University College to achieve this. For example, it may become possible for a teaching assistant to help in the classroom part-time and attend teacher training part-time.
The position is partly paid by Brussels and partly by the Flemish government. It is said that urban education will deploy teaching assistants where the greatest needs are. “At the moment, all schools are having a very hard time keeping their heads above water due to the teacher shortage and the pandemic. Helping hands are therefore welcome everywhere.”