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Schola ULB: students committed to helping primary and secondary school pupils

For over 30 years, the Schola ULB Tutoring Programme has been mobilising student volunteers and training them to provide regular tutoring to pupils in the Brussels-Capital Region. A project by young people for young people, with a clear objective: success for all!

Restoring students' confidence

At the start of each academic year, the University is buzzing with activity and Schola ULB is in full swing. The challenge is huge: to recruit and train the 500 students who will be ready to take on the role of tutor in less than a month! Given the challenges facing the teaching sector, this fine mobilisation of the University and the student community is more necessary than ever to support equal opportunities at school. In addition to advice on how to apply the Pythagorean theorem more effectively and tips and tricks on remembering irregular verbs in Dutch, the student tutors provide smiles, encouragement and testimonials week after week to boost the self-confidence of children and teenagers attending school in Brussels.

Promoting student civic engagement

Ahmed Medhoune, Director of the Department of Community Services at ULB, the first tutor to take part in the initiative in 1989 and the loyal chairman of the institutional non-profit organisation, explains: "This student civic commitment is a treasure: it's up to us to bring it to life, make the most of it and promote it". Alongside him, Kseniya Yasinska, Director of Schola ULB, and her team of 10 people are fighting for recognition of this civic commitment on the part of students, reflecting a generation that is mobilised around societal issues, concerned for others and looking to the future.

Broadening young people's future prospects

For students and pupils alike, the Schola ULB Tutoring Programme is an oasis of opportunity! "I really enjoy the feeling of being useful by helping young people in difficulty," explains Manuelle, a tutor and student on a bachelor's degree in psychological sciences. Leading a tutoring group also offers the promise of a rich human and professional experience and the chance to develop a wide range of skills. It also means offering invaluable help to students as they learn to overcome their difficulties at school and regain their self-confidence. Thanks to the Tutoring Programme, teachers estimate that 86% of pupils have more confidence in their academic success and are more motivated in their learning. At Schola ULB, youth resonates with the words will, solidarity, commitment and transmission.

Mobilising students to meet pupils' needs

Nearly 1 in 3 Brussels pupils are at least 1 year behind in their schooling*. And the need for tutoring is growing all the time. "The Tutoring Programme is sometimes the only chance our pupils with difficulties have to have a proper working environment outside school time. I think it's essential," says Ingrid, a teacher at one of the programme's partner secondary schools. More and more Brussels schools are asking for student tutoring. In response to this growing demand, the entire Schola ULB team is working hard to recruit and train students.

*Source: Observatoire de la santé et du social de Bruxelles-Capitale (2022). Social Barometer 2021. Brussels: Joint Community Commission.
Laetitia Tintinaglia & Sibylle Rocher-Barrat

Updated on April 8, 2024