Face of Flanders: Nozizwe Dube

Summary

Nozizwe Dube has been chosen as the new chair of the Flemish Youth Council, a body routinely consulted by the Flemish government on policies that affect young people

Ran on employment issues

The new chair of the Flemish Youth Council is 19-year-old Nozizwe Dube, who takes over from Lander Piccart, who has already moved on to work in the cabinet of Brussels minister Pascal Smet.

Dube is in the final year of her studies in science and mathematics as she begins a three-year term heading the Jeugdraad, or Youth Council, a body routinely consulted by the government of Flanders on matters of policy that affect young people. The council also issues its own policy statements on applicable issues.

Dube arrived in Flanders from Zimbabwe six years ago, so her progress is particularly remarkable. However, she told StampMedia that she’s fed up with all that concentration on her life story. “I hope we’ll soon be able to focus more on content,” she said.

She originally joined the Youth Council to make friends and to practise speaking Dutch. When a place opened up on the general assembly, she stood and was elected.

Her platform running for chair was employment and the pressure young people are put under to select their studies according to the demands of the labour market. She also intends to fight increases in public transport costs, which hit young people hard, she said, and to help break down the taboos surrounding psychological well-being, depression and suicide.

“If we look at the suicide figures among young people in this country, I think we have more than enough to talk about,” she told Stamp Media. 

Photo by Milou Verstappen 2015/CHIPS StampMedia

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