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Belgium/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.2 Arts in schools

Flemish Community

The Flemish community has various tools at its disposal to achieve the policy objectives set out for arts and cultural education in primary and secondary education. Tools to prepare, implement and evaluate the arts and cultural education policy objectives are:

  • funding criteria for initiatives on a project or a structural basis within and outside school hours (applying to schools, arts education organisations and cultural institutions, see chapter 8.3.1);
  • funding schemes, such as dynamo3 provided by CANON Cultural Unit;
  • assuring quality management, for example by using attainment targets; and
  • support at educational and didactic levels.

The Flemish government recognises that a consistent line of reference is necessary for integrated arts and cultural education in primary and secondary education. In order to create such a framework, Flanders participated in a four-year research project of the University of Groningen Culture in the mirror. In addition to the work done by the Culture and Education Committees, these research results can contribute to embedding arts and cultural education continuously and structurally in the education curriculum e.g. in the reform of secondary education.

Although schools are supervised by Flemish education policies, local or regional institutions, education networks, umbrella organisations and by the school board, they - and particularly their teachers - can largely decide for themselves how to organise and implement the curriculum. The range and quality of expressive arts therefore mainly depends on the school. However, the attainment targets, including those for expressive arts, act as a directive for primary education as the government considers these minimum goals of knowledge, insight, skills and attitudes necessary and achievable for a certain pupil population.

French-speaking Community of Belgium

Under the decree of 24 March 2006 on the implementation, promotion and reinforcement of collaborations between Culture and Education, a Culture and Education Unit was created within the French-speaking Community of Belgium, tasked with supporting cultural and artistic activities in schools.

This support, which has been in force since 2000, takes two distinct forms: on the one hand, initiatives by schools or artists to raise awareness of cultural media such as cinema, literature, reading and journalism get financial backing from the Culture and Education Unit, and on the other, the unit also sets up and coordinates partnerships between cultural players and schools at the schools’ request. The provision of these activities by the Culture and Education Unit takes the form of calls for contributions (volunteers reading in class) and competitions open to students. An annual publication, Chemins de traverse, reports on the cultural actions conducted in schools as part of this initiative.

Furthermore, at the level of the Brussels-Capital Region, the Cocof launched a programme in 2000 proposing a partnership between the world of culture and French-language education in Brussels with the aim of setting up some creative projects during school hours (‘La Culture a de la classe’ or ‘Culture has class’).

Chapter published: 26-06-2018

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