For years, Dutch language education in a multilingual environment has been a trump card of Dutch-speaking education in Brussels. In the super-diverse and cosmopolitan metropolis that the Brussels region has now become, Minister Gatz wants to encourage the schools to give multilingualism every chance.
"We want to promote Dutch, French and English multilingualism in our schools, in combination with the pupils' home languages," says Minister Gatz. "This combination is essential if we want to give our children and all young people in Brussels the best possible chances to build their future in our region. Just recently, Actiris, the regional employment service for the Brussels-Capital Region, announced that poor language skills are one of the main reasons why job vacancies in our region remain unfilled."
The call for projects is aimed at short-term projects, which require limited investment for the schools in terms of staff and materials, but which nevertheless produce quick results. After all, schools in Brussels but also outside of it, are already facing very serious challenges, such as the shortage of teachers or the aftermath of the covid pandemic.Projects which the schools themselves consider successful can be the stepping stones to more structural actions around multilingualism and more intensified cooperation. Schools that cooperate with "other-language" schools in Brussels in the realisation of a project will receive extra support. In this way, schools can more easily set up collaborations and exchanges and develop a network, without immediately feeling the pressure to enter into structural collaborations or staff exchanges. The initiative to stimulate and facilitate projects on multilingualism at school is in line with the recommendations from the Tour of Brussels for School Teams, which Minister Gatz set up in 2020.
The multilingual projects subsidy can be applied for from the end of August, through the subsidy desk of the VGC.
BeTalky is an initiative of the Brussels-Capital Region and aims to promote multilingualism in Brussels. Our city has 1.2 million inhabitants, who speak more than 100 different languages. The advantages of multilingualism are numerous. In addition to the opportunities it opens up on the labour market, multilingualism promotes cohesion among the inhabitants of Brussels.