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‘You give a mathematics test to seventy pupils’

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‘Je geeft ook geen wiskunde aan zeventig leerlingen’

In the Netherlands, the students who are not able to swim during the schoolzwemmen now a colored vest to wear. It would increase safety. ‘A panic reaction’, says ex-topzwemster Carine Verbauwen.

Just background sketching: in 2015, drowned in the Netherlands, a nine-year-old Syrian girl during the schoolzwemmen. The drowning led to a legal conflict about the responsibility. The

Just background sketching: in 2015, drowned in the Netherlands, a nine-year-old Syrian girl during the schoolzwemmen. The drowning led to a legal conflict about the responsibility. The Algemeen Dagblad reports today that the appointments to be strengthened: students who are not good swimmers, now have a life jacket to wear. That are partly made of rubber.

‘Je geeft ook geen wiskunde aan zeventig leerlingen’

‘That is a step backwards’, says former topzwemster Carine Verbauwen, who is now with the vzw Job 4 commitment to safety in the schoolzwemmen. ‘In this way, a child will stay afloat and never go under the water, but will never learn to swim. It’s like you’re a child wants to learn to ride a bike, but never the step wants to go further than a bike with steunwieltjes. On four wheels you ride also not really.’

In the Netherlands, and in particular, to the responsibility.

Carine Verbauwen: “That’s right, and that problem is also with us. Rescuers in a swimming pool saying: we are not responsible, the schools are responsible for their students. The schools reasoning: the rescuers are there for something.”

There Is in Flanders sufficient supervision during the schoolzwemmen?

“I see a connection with the maximum in education. Swimming is expensive, if you transport to a pool account. So it takes into account the question of whether the bus volzit. And then you leave with a bus with 75 other students, who are accompanied by one turnleraar. Sometimes, there are still a few klasleraars, but not always. That is eighty-percent the reality.’

You come up with that 75 students in the pool, and then?

‘Then we looked on the ground of age: you are seven years old, so you need this or that. But sometimes it can be a child of three is perfect to float and glide, while another child, maybe ten, never set a foot in the water. What happens? The turnleraar play it safe and bring everyone to the small bath. Often, the teacher – understandably – with the responsibility and thinks: in a small bath can anyone with the feet on the ground. Who can swim, must but play.’Something can at me not in. No right-thinking man gets it in his head to math to a class of seventy students. But for swimming so be it.’

In the Netherlands there were in the past years, more fatal accidents than us. Some schools stopped even with the schoolzwemmen.

“That can be just as good for us to happen. A child can also run away, because the to the toilet. As a teacher it allows you to not have a 24 students to one child to accompany them to the toilet. And if that child comes back, and in the big pool jumps, what then? According to me they are the rescuers who then have to pay attention, but also in Flanders, there is an immense grey zone.’

Organize in groups according to skills, there is nothing wrong with it?

“Absolutely not. I know an example from Dilbeek. There, students take a bath with a coloured swim cap. First, third, fourth grade: all children by each other, divided into “can” and not to age. That’s much easier. But sometimes schools from the catholic education and the community education together, les and you get a different complaint: “we need points to give”. According to my personal opinion, that may not be a problem, even though you pupils per class in the water.”

You pleads for schoolzwemmen in the big tub?

‘The argument is now that you are not to the big bath should, if you can’t swim. But where should you learn? I prefer that students jump, yes. The aim should be: what do you need to be able to swim? It does not technically okay, but work in steps. You give a toddler, no pencils with the message: now you are going to nicely within the lines colors. No, you give that a pencil and it should all by each other and later, it all comes together.’

‘Swimming is the same way: the voetbeweging (call it congestion), bubbles, learning to float and glide, the aquatic breathing, the rotation of the stomach to the back: do it all in steps.’

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