01 May '16

Deteriorating level of Dutch language proficiency

door Joris Herpol
The number of Dutch-speaking children attending schools in the Flemish Rand is falling in both the primary and secondary education systems. The level of Dutch is also on the decline.

The Flemish Member of Parliament Jo De Ro (Open VLD), who is also Vilvoorde's Councillor for Education, is sounding the alarm. ‘In Vilvoorde less than half (46%) of children in pre-school education are Dutch-speaking, while the percentage in secondary schools is 64%. A similar trend is reported in Machelen, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Zaventem, Overijse and Dilbeek.

Teachers are the fuel that keeps the engines of the education system operating but there is a risk of this running low owing to the lack of support being offered to these educationalists. We have to dare to deploy expertise in Brussels schools. Ten years ago teachers were faced with a rising number of students from non-native-language families and have responded well to the challenge since then.’ (RK, mei 2016)