13/09/2017 – ‘Through the eyes of pupils’. That is the slogan of Route2school, the project that will be a daunting task for Gerd De Roeck from Mere. With this, the teacher also puts a point behind his principals’ function at GO! primary school Park in Aalst.
“I was ready for a new challenge and came in contact with IMOB. I certainly wanted to continue doing something with education and was seconded by the ministry for this position”, says Gerd De Roeck (46). This new job consists of guiding school communities and municipalities in their pursuit of safe school routes. “Studies show that the immediate school environment, up to 200m past the school gate, is relatively safe. The problems start beyond that point. Apparently, the chaotic character of the school environment makes sure that everyone is paying more attention, which is no longer the case further on.” Accident figures are an important pillar in the analysis of Route2school. “They identify traffic unsafe locations, give insight into the demographic background of victims and provide a base for shaping the traffic policy of a municipality. However, we look further than that. We put on different glasses and acquire a different view: of pupils, parents, teachers and the school management”, explains Gerd.
Route2school only starts when a municipality is involved. “Otherwise, we will receive bottlenecks from all over Flanders and we would not be able to work in a structured way. But it is obvious that a school community of pupils, teachers and parents can urge the local authorities to participate in Route2school project. In the Aalst region, only Herzele has joined the project. The project has its base in Hasselt, so it is logical that mainly municipalities of Limburg and Antwerp signed up. But now, East Flemish municipalities are also showing interest.”
Read the complete article in the Rondom Online – Regionieuws Aalst (Dutch) // article: Michael EECKHOUT