“It’s easier to learn English if you speak Dutch” say Francophone greens

Dutch is compulsory as a second language in Francophone schools in the capital, but some people may be just a little surprised to hear that in Francophone Wallonia it isn't.  The Francophone greens that form part of the Francophone community government that is responsible for education hope to change this state of affairs however.

In Wallonia pupils can opt for English or even German as a second language.  The Francophone greens are eager to promote Dutch in Wallonia and are insisting that the issue is discussed thoroughly.

“Our stand is clear” says green lawmaker Gilles Vanden Burre: “We believe it is highly important to learn the national languages.  We live in one country and it’s important to learn the language of the other community.  Moreover, it’s easier to learn English if you speak Dutch.”

Green party Ecolo believes pupils should start to learn Dutch from the third year of primary.  Major reforms to Francophone education are on the rails.  Ecolo is eager to see Dutch made compulsory and this could start as early as September.

Will the two other parties in the coalition follow this lead?  Caroline Désir, the (socialist) Francophone education minister believes people must be consulted first.

Top stories