From September 2014, students of the Flemish Community education network GO! will no longer study religion or ethics in the third grade of secondary school and will instead be taught an overview of different ideologies. Coordinator Luc De Man feels this is necessary because society has changed since the basis of the current system was laid with the school pact of 1958, when there was a great divide between Catholics and cultural liberalists. With this decision, GO! goes beyond the proposal of the parties Open Vld and Groen! in the Flemish Parliament to replace one of the two hours of religion or ethics with a comparison of other religions or ideologies.
Flemish students doing Bachelor studies in primary education don’t have the level of French required by the Common European Framework of Reference. That is the conclusion of a report by the Catholic College of Leuven. To improve the French of, among others, these future teachers, the Flemish liberal party Open VLD proposes to make French obligatory from the third grade in primary school. Currently, primary school students learn French from the fifth grade.
Two Flemings will participate in a simulated space mission to Mars in the desert of the US state of Utah. During the simulations, regularly organised by the Mars Society, six people live together for two weeks in a small exploration habitat closed off from the world. Trips outside the Mars-like terrain can only be undertaken in a space suit.
The number of students in Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels has risen again this year, with 800 more students, taking the total number to almost 40,000. There is also an increase in secondary school pupils, after years of decline. Brussels education minister Jean-Luc Vanraes feels the building of more schools and classes since 2010 is paying off.