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VTI Veurne - Belgium

Our school system
Every school week consists of 35 lessons of 50 minutes. On Monday and Tuesday we attend 8 lessons between 08h30 in the morning and 16h45 in the evening. On Wednesdays, we attend 4 lessons and are free in the afternoon. On Thursday and Friday we attend 7 lessons. After school we have to do some homework and study for some tests or exams. Summer holidays in Belgium start 1 July and end on 31 August. Christmas and Easter holidays last for two weeks and on top of that, we have 1 week of holidays in November and February/March.

In Belgium, all children are required to go to school from 2,5 years of age onwards. Between the age of 6 and 12, all children go to primary school. Between the age of 12 and 18, they can choose between aso (general education), tso (technical education), bso (vocational education) and art school. After secondary school, some students go to a college or university. They will be doing a bachelor or master degree in engineering. Although other possiblities remain open and some may choose to start on a professional career immediately.

Science and Technology Department
"Science and Technology" is the most theoretical department at our school. Until the fourth year students don't have much workshop practice. Mathematics is the most important course. The number of mathematics lessons varies between six and eight hours a week.

Students in this department also take courses in electricity, mechanics, physics, chemistry, .... After secondary school, students go to a college or university. Most of them will be doing a bachelor or master degree in engineering. Although other possiblities remain open.

Electromechanics Department
"Electromechanics" is a theoretical and practical course at the same time and should prepare students for higher education. It covers electronics and mechanics at the same time, both theoretical courses and workshop practice.

Other courses remain important, with sufficient attention to mathematics and languages (Dutch, French and English). Students choosing this department in general continue their higher education at a technical college and will grow into jobs that require responsibility and leadership skills within a wide variety of companies.

Wood Department
In the technical department "Wood techniques" pupils learn all about furniture, carpentry and joinery, from the design stage till the finishing. This course takes 6 years.

In the last years the number of hours devoted to general education decreases and there are more hours of technical courses and workshop practice. From the fifth year onwards you need to be able to work independently. After this course you can continue into higher education or start on a job.

In the vocational department "Wood working" attention is focussed on workshop practice and the technical woodworking courses like technology, construction and technical drawing. The course comprises furniture design, carpentry and joinery and other skills needed for present-day building construction. The hours of general education are limited and a course in business management is part of the programme.

Electricity Department
In the technical department "Electrotechniques" our pupils study electricity in a very practical manner. This department only starts in the third year. Pupils are taught both general and technical subjects and they get a considerable amount of workshop practice. This course takes 4 years (following two introductory years). In the last years the number of hours devoted to general education decreases and there are more hours of technical courses and workshop practice. From the fifth year onwards the pupils need to be able to work independently. After finishing the course they can choose to continue into higher education or find a job with a company.

In the vocational department "Electrical installations" attention is focussed on workshop practice and the technical courses: electricity, electrical installations and automation. The hours of general education are limited. A course in business management is part of the programme. Whoever finishes this course can immediately start on a job as an electrician.

Mechanics Department
In the technical department "Techniques for mechanical design" our pupils are taught how to shape metal and operate turning and milling machines. They need to be able to both work the machine and explain the theory behind it. This course takes 4 years (following two introductory years). In the last years the number of hours devoted to general education decreases and there are more hours of technical courses and workshop practice. From the fifth year onwards the pupils need to be able to work independently. After finishing the course they can choose to continue into higher education or find a job with a company.

In the vocational department "Metal working" attention is focussed on workshop practice and the technical course mechanics. The hours of general education are limited. In the last two years you have to choose, either "Cars" or "Welding – Construction". The "Car" department is a very practical course that prepares you to become a car mechanic. The department "Welding – Construction" offers a similar course that will prepare you for work in building construction businesses, shipbuilding, bridge building or any other kind of business in which there is need for certified welding skills.