Schools in Brussels need more Dutch-language teachers if they are to counteract the predominance of English in the capital’s classrooms, Brussels mayor Philippe Close said on Tuesday.
Close said that quick action was needed and warned that Dutch, was in danger of being “snowed under” the advancement of English — which, unlike Dutch, is not one of Belgium's three official languages.
The Brussels mayor appealed to the government of the Flemish region, asking them to supply more staff to teach Dutch to French-speaking students in the city.
“We are not asking for money — but for more teachers,” Close said in an interview with Dutch-language daily De Standaard.
A possible reason for the lack of Dutch-speaking teachers in Brussels could be that teaching staff in Belgium’s French-speaking regions are reportedly less well-paid than their counterparts in Flanders.
To bypass that obstacle, Close spoke of offering a “Brussels bonus,” to teachers willing to come teach Dutch in the Belgian capital, as well as an improved social status.
Close’s appeal follows several moves by politicians and regional authorities, both Flemish and Francophone, to improve Dutch’s stance in the Belgian capital.
Earlier this year, it was found that only a limited number of police officers in Brussels were able to communicate in both French and Dutch, compounding news last year that less than half of Belgium’s top public servants managed to pass a bilingual test.
The Brussels Times