Home schooling

189 kids with disabilities are nonetheless with out college transport because the starting of the college 12 months

For almost a month, specialized education has also returned to Brussels. This requires specialized needs, including school transport. However, at the moment, 189 students cannot enjoy transport to go to school. “And it’s an understatement,” says Thibauld Menke, Gamp’s communications officer. (The action group which denounces the lack of places for highly dependent disabled people). They are all those who have private solutions, through relatives. […] Some schools have found a temporary solution themselves until the All Saints holidays.

The question angered more than one MP, some of whom questioned the Minister-President, Rudi Vervoort (SP). The latter justifies this problem with the lack of transport and drivers. For others, this is a structural problem that has recurred at the beginning of every school year for (at least) ten years.

An unattractive call for tenders

Brussels has 223 districts that allow young people in special education to be transported from home to school. This summer, 44 of them, which had expired, were brought back into competition so that private companies could make a bid. Here alone, only eleven counties received an application, leaving 33 more trails and 443 children on the streets. The reason? The call for tenders would have been published in June and petrol prices would not have been updated in relation to current inflation. If the firm Vervoort refutes this last point with conviction, it also responds that the sector is experiencing a shortage of drivers. “Rudi Vervoort has worked very transparently on this file, Ecolo MP Ahmed Mouhssin comments. But, it must be said that if there are only eleven answers out of forty-four, it means that there is a problem with prices.

Behind the pictures there is a reality. That of parents of children, teenagers or young people who feel alone in front of their child’s education. “There are parents who are accepting, finally… putting up with homeschooling. At worst, some kids will be out of school.”condemns Gamp.

What solutions?

Rudi Vervoort, who “It perfectly measures the difficulties this situation creates for many families”, hopes to be able to reduce the number of children on the floor to 94 as of Monday. How? Targeting the most critical cases, reorganizing bus transport, mobilizing taxis and PRM taxis, and funding trips from STIB, which has also offered the Region to train tour guides.

For the opposition, this is not enough. “People want structural solutions to a problem that has existed for almost twenty years, supports Petya Obolensky (PTB). To me, this is one of the consequences of Cocof, which solves structural problems with string chunks. And to demand the return to public control of specialized school transport. “Impossible”, answers Stib, because of the legislation in force since 2012.

For her part, Céline Frémault, from the Committee, recommends the creation of an immediate Task Force “disability-employment-mobility”, and holding the Cocof disability committee the day after fall break “to have an accurate follow-up of the situation with an update of the solutions found in the meantime and decided”.

Rudi Vervoort replied that he had put nine new circuits back into circulation. In the future, three Cocof buses and vans with drivers from the non-profit organization Évasion will be used. In the long term, the Minister-President plans to optimize the circuits and improve the price list of carriers. “Once the crisis is over, it will be necessary to give an impetus to the structural reform of school transport.

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