Up to 20% of classes can be taught in foreign language

Summary

The government of Flanders has approved a decree that allows secondary schools to teach up to one-fifth of courses in a language other than Dutch

Flemish education adapts to multilingual future

The government of Flanders has approved a decree that allows secondary schools to teach up to 20% of courses in a language other than Dutch. The Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) project has been launched to better prepare pupils for the “multilingual future”.

Every school also has the choice to participate in the project or not, and pupils are not obliged to take part, so all courses also remain available in Dutch. According to Mieke Van Hecke, director-general of the Catholic schools network, about 50 of the 600 Catholic schools have already shown an interest.

The Flemish initiative is similar to the Walloon system of “language immersion education”. In that system, up to 75% percent of the non-language courses are taught in Dutch or English and it is mostly used in primary schools.

Educational system

The Flemish educational system is divided into two levels: primary (age six to 12) and secondary school (12 to 18). Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 18.
Types - There are three educational networks in Flanders: the Flemish Community’s GO! network, and publicly funded education – either publicly or privately run.
Not enough space - In recent years, Flemish schools have been struggling with persistent teacher shortages and a growing lack of school spaces.
No tuition fees - Nursery, primary and secondary school are free in Flanders.
1

million school-going children in 2013

30

million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013

11

percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma