Education International
Education International

Belgium: Schools remain closed amidst security threats

published 23 November 2015 updated 23 November 2015

Schools and daycare centres in Belgium's capital Brussels remained closed today, as the federal government upheld the highest security threat level in the city.

Because of operations linked to recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and the ensuing risk of attacks in the city, federal authorities had issued warnings since Friday evening, closing down the metro network and calling on inhabitants and visitors to stay away from crowded areas. The centre of Brussels, normally bustling with activity on weekend nights, was largely deserted and patrolled by numerous police units and military personnel.

After the government announced that the highest threat level would be maintained on Monday, the education ministry decided to close schools and daycare centres in the capital. Police operations continued through the night, and a new risk assessment will be undertaken in the afternoon.

"Together with our Belgian affiliates, we appreciate the authorities' vigilance. Schools must be safe havens, zones of peace," said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, referring to EI's declaration on Schools as Safe Sanctuaries.