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Belgians queue through the night for school places

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Belgians queue through the night for school places


Thousands of Belgian parents are being forced to camp outside a French-speaking school in Brussels to ensure their children a place.

The school used to select pupils based on their academic performance. But now it’s starting a first-come, first-served system.

Even parents of existing pupils are having to sit it out until registration begins in the morning.

“At least now it is equal for all,” said one parent. “First is first.”

But working parents have slammed the new policy, pointing out that not everyone can take time off to sit in the queue.

The change of admittance procedure is aimed at encouraging social diversity.

“The idea is sound, but there is still discrimination,” said another parent. “Now they are discriminating against those who cannot physically come here to seek a place for their children.”

But one person’s misfortune is another’s opportunity. Students have been offering to sit in the queue in place of busy parents — for 500 euros a night.

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