VVOB has been supporting education in Belgium since 2008.
In Belgium, access rates and learning outcomes are relatively high. However, challenges of equity are increasingly putting pressure on the education system as it is organised today. Every consecutive study shows that the learning gap between the best performers and poorest performers is widening.
The Belgian classroom caters to a diverse learner population in terms of their migration backgrounds, their gender, socioeconomic status, learning needs and so on. When not properly managed, these benign factors may become the reason why teachers cannot keep learners on track to developing to their full potential. Even though frameworks for equity in education are in place, schools face various challenges – be it a lack of resources, difficulties changing attitudes of educators or other challenges – in ensuring equal opportunities for all children.
Drawing from experiences in its other partner countries, VVOB introduces the Belgian education system to innovating approaches to equity challenges. VVOB builds bridges between schools and systems worldwide to tackle globally shared problems. Indeed, as the Sustainable Development Goals recognise, countries worldwide are facing similar challenges related to education and equity, but also climate change, gender equality, poverty etc.
- At the level of schools, the SchoolLinks programme stimulates and facilitates meaningful partnerships between schools across borders. Competences of global citizenship are fostered in the participating learners, teachers, school leaders and broader school communities.
- At a more systems level, the eNSPIRED programme brings together educational experts and practitioners from various backgrounds to discuss similar challenges of equity in education. Belgian (student) teachers, teacher trainers and pedagogical counsellors are introduced to educational practices from VVOB's partner countries in Africa, Asia and South America.
- VVOB also co-hosts a platform for Belgian development actors working in education and training, Educaid.be.
- Early childhood education
- Primary education
- General secondary education
- Secondary TVET
- Tertiary education
Our key areas of work include:
- Initial teacher education - Teacher training institutions and their student teachers are exposed to education practices from around the world through international guest lectures, workshops, internships and other platforms for exchange, and develop an open state of mind rooted in solidarity and mutual learning.
- Continuous professional development of teachers - Through meaningful interaction with their peers around the world, teachers develop global citizenship competences both in themselves and in their learners, and enrich their teaching practices with innovative approaches not usually covered in classic teacher education.
- School leadership development - School leaders create environments in which global citizenship and solidarity are core elements of their schools’ learning culture and develop and promote internationalisation policies in their schools.
- Advocacy, institutional agenda setting and capacity building - Belgian organisations working in education and training in international cooperation streamline their activities and consult each other regularly on various topics, and have the common goal to strengthen and promote education and training in their activities and Belgium’s international cooperation policies with regard to education.