Brussels parents complain about poll

21st September 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 September 2007, BRUSSELS – Some parents in the periphery of Brussels are protesting a survey sent round to all students asking what language they speak at home. The questionnaire was sent out by the Flemish community. The survey was also sent to students in francophone schools in municipalities in the Brussels periphery where facilities are available for French speakers. Some parents call it a "veiled language census," broadcaster RTBF reports.

21 September 2007

BRUSSELS – Some parents in the periphery of Brussels are protesting a survey sent round to all students asking what language they speak at home. The questionnaire was sent out by the Flemish community. The survey was also sent to students in francophone schools in municipalities in the Brussels periphery where facilities are available for French speakers. Some parents call it a "veiled language census," broadcaster RTBF reports.

The form is in both French and Dutch and must be completed in Dutch, according to the RTBF. Parents are asked to indicate what language the child speaks with his/her father, mother, siblings, and friends.

The mayor of Sint-Genesius-Rode says the survey seems like a language census, which the mayor says is prohibited. Walloon minister for education Marie Arena thinks that survey is a good project and can improve the quality of education for foreign students. The survey should remain anonymous however, Arena stressed.

Flemish Education Minister Frank Vandenbroucke reiterated that the survey is in preparation for the new financing system that he wants to introduce gradually from 2008. The questionnaire given to each student at the beginning of the school year asks parents to report whether they speak Dutch, French or another language at home, and to indicate the mother's level of education.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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