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Claude Meisch, the Minister of Education from the Democratic Party (DP), presented insights into the government programme for education policies on Wednesday morning, emphasising a step-by-step approach to proposed changes.
In Cycle 1, formerly known as nursery school, the inclusion of an educator alongside the teacher, similar to the existing pre-school setup, is envisioned for the future. However, Minister Meisch clarified that the addition of a second person to all nursery school classes during this legislative period, with a total of 850 classes, is not immediately feasible. Instead, the approach will be gradual, with careful consideration of where and how a second person can be deployed effectively.
The proposed projects in the education chapter of the government programme will undergo scientific monitoring and testing through pilot projects. This approach mirrors the current methodology applied to literacy classes in French, set to be generalised in 2026 at the earliest, according to Meisch.
To address the multilingualism of society, the government plans to open three new international schools in Schifflange, Dudelange, and Luxembourg City. Simultaneously, flexibility in the language offerings at secondary schools is to be enhanced, acknowledging the challenges posed by the current requirements.
Minister Meisch highlighted the impracticality of expecting mastery of three languages at the same level, proposing a broader discussion on language teaching methods. He also suggested that offering subjects in both German and French could be a topic for consideration, emphasising the need for open dialogue.
While discussing his role, Minister Meisch positioned himself as "a coordinator" who strives to build bridges between diverse positions. He acknowledged the complexity of language-related discussions and refrained from pre-emptively shaping decisions, emphasising his role as a facilitator in the ongoing government programme processes.
"The minister certainly doesn't have all the answers. The minister may have an opinion on everything, but he doesn't always reveal it at every opportunity because I know that when I do so, that will be the only thing that will be discussed later," Meisch said, adding that "I see myself more as someone who coordinates, more as someone who tries to build bridges between individual positions, rather than someone who says 'I know better than all of you'."
Meisch further specified that the abolition of sections in classical secondary education would not be generalised in the current legislative period.
In addition to addressing language courses, the government aims to improve access to vocational training, proposing the introduction of a one-year Vocational Aptitude Diploma (DAP) option after the final year of secondary school.
"If a girl or boy comes home at the age of 15 and says, 'I want to do vocational training, I want to be a butcher, I want to be a carpenter, I want to do something else in this field, that's my passion,' we know how many parents react, they say, 'please finish your secondary education first and then we'll take it from there'," says Meisch.
The Minister acknowledged that, at the moment, students who choose vocational training after secondary school completion have to start from the beginning, which often discourages them from choosing this career path.