General administration at national level
There hasn't been a national education ministry since 1989. Only three aspects explicitly mentioned in the Constitution remain the responsibility of the federal authorities. These are:
- the definition of the beginning and end of compulsory education;
- the minimum conditions for the award of diplomas;
- the pension arrangements for staff in the education sector.
General administration at regional level
With the exception of the three aspects mentioned above, education in Belgium is the responsibility of the communities, not the regions.
Role of the Government of the German-speaking Community
The Government of the German-speaking Community consists of four Ministers, one of whom is for Education, Research and Education in the legislative period 2019-2024 and thus assumes the function of Minister of Education. . The Minister of Education and the Ministry of the German-speaking Community have a dual role to play in the field of education:
- On the one hand, the Minister of Education is, on behalf of the Government, the school authority of the Community Schools (the former State Schools), which are linked in the teaching network of the GUW (Community Education). In this capacity, it defines the structures, curricula and methods, decides on major infrastructure measures and finances the GUW schools; in cooperation with the headmasters, it takes all measures to improve school operation;
- On the other hand, the Minister of Education and the Ministry, as the supervisory authority, are responsible for monitoring the application of all legal provisions and regulations, not only in their own community schools, but also in the schools of the other school authorities. It approves the school structures and curricula of the OSUW (Official Subsidised Education) and FSUW (Free Subsidised Education) schools and subsidises them to a large extent according to criteria laid down by law.
The Cabinets of Ministers
Each Minister shall be assisted by a Cabinet composed of political advisers and secretaries to assist him in carrying out his duties. At the end of a legislative period, the cabinets are dissolved and - following the formation of the new government - reoccupied.
The Ministry of the German-speaking Community
As in any central administration, the Ministry's main task is to assist ministers in their decision-making and to implement the government's decisions. The ministry produces educational and administrative circulars concerning decrees and regulations issued by legislative and executive bodies of the German-speaking Community. The circulars of the Ministry are sent to all persons who instruct the teaching staff and manage ??? of the teaching system, as well as to all other interested parties (school authorities, parents' associations, trade unions,...). In addition, the Ministry is responsible for important administrative and control tasks relating to essential questions of teaching staff, teaching organisation, extracurricular education and pedagogy.