Flanders: multilingualism in schools contravenes Linguistic Law
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    Flanders: multilingualism in schools contravenes Linguistic Law

    The proposition by the governing power of the Flanders official education system to allow students to speak another language than Dutch in the classroom or during recreation is not endorsed by the N-VA. Lieven Boeve, Head of Flemish Catholic Education, expressed his regrets before the De Zevende Dag’s camera that this debate is being polarized on by the Flemish Nationalist Party.

    Flanders President-Minister Geert Bourgeois esteemed on VTM that this proposition contravenes linguistic legislation.

    GO! — the governing power of Flanders official education system — recommends that students in Flemish schools who speak another language than Dutch in the home be allowed to use it during recreation, or even in the classroom.

    The governing power in Flanders, N-VA, especially criticized this recommendation. Head of Flanders Catholic Education, Lieven Boeve, regrets that delicate discussions are often polarized on by the nationalist party. “Either you speak the language used at home, or you speak Dutch, as if the two could not be combined. You have either a Catholic identity, or you are open to others, as if hospitality could not be a fundamental part of this identity,” he deplored.

    In the opinion of Flemish President-Minister Geert Bourgeois (N-VA), who was speaking before VTM, “the note made by GO! does not come from a wrong intention, but (…) (it) is in conflict with linguistic legislation.”

    Should a Turkish student explain something in Turkish to his classmate, or should Arabic be spoken during recreation, is not a problem for Mr. Bourgeois. “I do not want a linguistic police.” But should students, for example, be gathered together for collective work in separate language groups is going a step too far for the President-Minister, and is “in conflict with linguistic legislation.”

    On VRT, Deputy Director of GO! Raymonda Verdyck was insistent: Dutch remains the language of community education, but the one spoken at home could serve as a “positive springboard.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times