^ Now, for the most part, when in rural Denmark ... which is like 90% of the country ... I too feel perfectly safe. However, in the big cities, Odense, Kopenhagen, Aarhus, there are areas where you had better not go after dark. Drug needles, drug users and the related crimes, the occasinal car with the windows smashed in and you can be damn sure the shops (and even some homes) have bars and alarms and cameras.
Still these no-go zones are quite small. In Kopenhagen, a city of over one million, it's a dozen of streets or so.
Aaaaaanyway, back to the topic ... For Belgium, it mostly plays out like this:
1) No entry exam (Every child should go to school, not be denied education)
There are federal standards called the endterms. School must test these at the very least (and they're quite extencive) A school that doesn't test the endterm ... and ALL the endterm can't provide a valid diploma. Some Jewish orthodox school fall foul of this. They especially avoid the endterm in biology, sex-ed and history.
2) Start at the age of 4 or 5
Compulsory education starts at age 5, which is the final year of kindergarten.
3) No self esteem movement
Not an area that is especially focussed on
4) Teach critical thinking skills
Again, some effort is put into this, but not a lot
5) put more money in the school and pay teachers well and train them so they would provide the best education.
teachers can survive (if that's the word) on their salary but I certainly wouldn't call them well payed. Definitely an area where we might put in some more effort
6) teach teenagers what parenting REALLY is!
7) Sex education is a must and give condoms out to teens and teach them all the facts!
Sex-ed is pretty good, condoms are easy to come by, with some schools have vending machines but the parenting side of things is not focussed on much. Now, teen pregnancy is not that big an issue in Belgium.
No teacher should sit on their arse and tell kids to open their textbook, they should get up and lead the class.
the teacher corps has been rejuvinated quite a bit recently but pro-active teaching is still not that wide-spread
9) Hands on learning so they can understand how things should work like living in apartments with crappy jobs.
depends on the classes you take ... the ASO is very much theory oriented, TSO and BSO are more practically minded
10) be tough on bullying and help students who are suffering or struggling.
In theory, sure, in practise, especially on line bullying is still a problem.
11) don't slow the lessons, speed it up!
In the last year of primary school, they work with A, B and C groups.
C gets regular classes, B gets the regular course material, but less support from the teacher and A gets, pretty much all they can just about handle and are expected to learn it on their own (the key point here is learning to realize when you're in over your head and calling for help before you entirely drown)