This is confirmed by the conclusions of the first Koala test, the language assessment now required in every third year of pre-school. The language screening process went quite smoothly, despite concerns about the risk of children being stigmatised. ‘That danger does exist’, says educationalist Bert. ‘But schools and teachers need to see the test not as an assessment of an individual child but as an appraisal of their approach.’ Ben Weyts (N-VA), Flemish Minister for Education and the Flemish Rand, is earmarking an extra €12 million to promote linguistic integration courses throughout Flanders during this school year.
Nearly one in four pre-primary school children attending school in the Flemish Rand do not know enough Dutch to be able to start their first year of compulsory education.