Brussels school shortage: 80 additional Dutch-speaking schools needed by 2024
Friday, 21 May 2021
The Flemish education system in Brussels needs to create no less than 40 new primary schools and just as many secondary schools by 2024, Minister Sven Gatz told the Dutch-speaking community commission of the Brussels parliament on Friday.
Gatz warned Dutch-speaking children may not have anywhere to go for education in their language in the Belgian capital, setting out a budget of €550 million to prevent this from happening.
Currently, a record number of children (650 of the 2,275 who registered) have no place in Dutch-speaking secondary education in Brussels due to this shortage, VRT reports.
Over the past 14 years, €480 million has already been invested in the creation of space for Flemish schools.
The minister believes that to achieve the objective of creating new Dutch-speaking schools, the intervention of the Flemish Community, the municipalities and the education authorities will be needed.
In Brussels, specifically in French-speaking schools, language education is not up to par, with less than 10% of pupils at those schools graduating with a decent knowledge of Dutch.
Some say that English could bridge the gap of a country linguistically divided between French, Dutch, and to a smaller extent, German – Belgium’s three official languages.
But others argue that English can’t take on a bigger role in Belgium until the country’s French speakers first improve their Dutch.