The City of Brussels has responded positively to a call from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)for a multilingual school in the capital. It plans to go even further and become a pilot commune in the field of multilingual education, Mayor Philippe Close, and alderwomen Faouzia Hariche and Ans Persoons, in charge of public education and Dutch-language education respectively, said on Tuesday.
“In a region where mobility and multilingual contacts are unavoidable, communication between communities is a requirement for everyone,” the councillors said. For this reason, the City of Brussels, “the biggest organising power in the country,” has responded favourably to the call from the ULB and VUB, and “intends to be a pilot municipality in this field,” they added.
Multilingualism and openness to others are “the cornerstone of sustainable co-existence in a multifaceted, multicultural society,” the three officials noted. This was why Brussels awarded a “privileged place in its legislative programme to language-learning and all projects that lead the student to discover by immersion, by experience, other languages and other cultures,” they explained
Providing Brussels’ residents with multilingual schools “is clearly part of the DNA of the Brussels we are building each year,” Close commented.
For Faouzia Hariche, linguistic education enriches the experience of living together as residents of Brussels and increases students’ professional chances.
For her part, Ans Persoons noted that it was more than logical for the city to team up with the universities to develop multilingual education, given its own network of over 100 Dutch-language and Francophone schools.