Flanders to test new EU education framework to battle radicalisation

Summary

Flanders will join 11 school systems in Europe to test the EU’s new framework for combatting radicalisation among youth in schools

Eleven countries

Flanders will test a new European education framework to battle radicalisation at school. The topic is under discussion this week at an education conference of the Council of Europe in Brussels.

The Council of Europe has developed a programme with practical advice for teachers in pre-schools, primary schools, secondary education and teacher training on how to instil citizenship and democratic values to students. The approach is meant to be applicable in all European countries.

Under the framework, students would be taught 20 core competences concerning attitudes and values. Citizenship, for example, revolves around being actively involved in society and acting to change intolerance and bigotry.

Other competences are related to a critical use of the internet and other media. Students should, for example, be able to reflect on reasons for posting online and the nature of propaganda.

The framework could take the form of a separate course in Flanders, which could become part of the eindtermen – the final requirements to graduate from secondary school. The goal is to introduce it across the region, but a test will first be carried out.

In Flanders, 40 teachers and teaching educators will now examine whether the programme would work as a separate course or should be integrated into other disciplines. Eleven other countries are also testing the programme, which will be fine-tuned according to results.

Photo courtesy Mercedes Van Volcem / Vlaams Parlement

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