Ministers bring more artists and culture to schools


Flanders’ culture and education ministers have launched a pilot project to encourage co-operation between schools and artists

Hidden talents

To inspire an interest in arts and culture among pupils, regardless of their background: That is the ambition of the action plan on culture and education presented in the Flemish parliament this week by culture minister Sven Gatz and education minister Hilde Crevits.

The ministers want to see more regular communication between schools and cultural institutions and for the two sectors to work more closely together. Teaching studies departments in higher education are also asked to devote attention to culture and cultural awareness into their programmes.

Four pilot schools have been identified to develop a vision on culture in collaboration with a cultural partner or artist. The schools are VTI in Waregem, Stedelijk Lyceum in Antwerp, PHTI in Ghent and the KTIA Campus de Brug in Vilvoorde. More labour and market-oriented programmes in technical and professional education were selected because studies show that they score poorly in cultural education.

Among the participating artists are children’s author Laila Koubaa and playwright Fikry El Azzouzi. “By integrating art and culture in lessons, schools can encourage these skills and talents in youngsters,” said Crevits.

She pointed out that culture organisations and schools already connect more often than they used to and that the website Cultuurkuur, where schools and cultural centres can contact each other directly, had 84,000 visitors in 2016, which is about double the number of 2014.

Photo courtesy VTI Waregem