Brussels announces record expansion of Dutch-language education

Brussels announces record expansion of Dutch-language education
Over 3,000 new Dutch-language spots will be created in Brussels schools. Credit: Pixabay

Dutch schooling is getting a record boost in Brussels with thousands of new Dutch-language spots set to be created in elementary and secondary schools by 2020.

Multilinguism Minister Sven Gatz said that at least 3,512 spots would be added to elementary and secondary schools, marking the largest expansion of Dutch-language education announced in Brussels so far, according to Bruzz.

A total of 1,221 new Dutch-language spots have been created in Brussels elementary schools so far this year, a slight decrease from 2018, which saw 1,400 new places created.

The bulk of the new spots (2,651), will be created in elementary schools, with the remaining 860 set to be added in secondary schools.

"The vast majority of pupils in Dutch-language education in Brussels do not speak Dutch at home," Gatz said in a statement, a fact which meant Brussels schools faced bigger linguistic challenges than schools in Flanders or Wallonia.

The measure is a central measure of a larger effort to promote Dutch in the Belgian capital by increasing the number and value of multilingual teachers in the region and forming students capable of navigating its different education systems, the statement continues.

The announcement comes after the mayor of Brussels in May said that more Dutch-speaking teachers were needed in the capital city, calling on Flanders to provide more teaching staff to counteract the rise of English in the classrooms.

Gatz told the Dutch-speaking outlet that the expansion mainly concerned schools in the municipalities of Molenbeek, Anderlecht and Schaerbeek, but said that at least half of the 19 municipalities of Brussels with engaged in plans for expanding Dutch-language schooling.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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