School absenteeism exploded during the 2021-2022 school year, with 63,939 pupils reporting at least nine half-days of unjustified absence, the threshold at which schools must inform the Right to Education Service (SDI) of the pupil’s absence, according to statistics published by the Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique on August 10.
Compared to 2020, when 49,993 pupils crossed this threshold, this represents an extremely strong increase of 28%. There were 34,856 absentees enrolled in ordinary secondary education in 2021, up 56% from 2020.
There has already been a 29% increase in absenteeism in Wallonia and 36% in Brussels since the pre-pandemic school year 2019-2020.Covid-19, which severely impacted the education of many secondary school students, may explain this increase in students missing school, according to the Minister.
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