Arabic lessons in Flemish state schools in Brussels

Flemish state schools in Brussels have high hopes of deterring pupils from attending radical Islamic koranic schools by giving lessons in Arabic themselves.

Jacky Goris, the head of Flemish community schools in Brussels, is a big supporter of Arabic lessons in Brussels state schools. At the moment many children attend koranic schools in order to learn Arabic, but at the same time strict Islamic rules are also instilled into them. Mr Goris believes that lessons in Arabic that is the mother tongue of many pupils can also help them to acquire language skills in other languages including Dutch.

Jacky Goris: "Children aged as young as ten have started to take part in the Ramadan (the month of fasting). It's instilled into them in these small koranic schools. This is why we are taking the initiative to offer Arabic lessons."