V-Day on Education: The N-VA is the guarantor of strong education

4 May 2019

“For the N-VA, education is an absolute top priority.” Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois made this point very clearly during the V-Day on Education at the Vives University of Applied Sciences in Bruges. A packed auditorium listened with great interest for three hours to a discussion among politicians and experts on the bottlenecks in our Flemish education. In ten points, Flemish MP Koen Daniëls presented the solutions that the N-VA is putting forward. The N-VA’s general chairman, Bart De Wever, concluded the V-Day with a passionate election speech: “Only the N-VA guarantees high-quality education”.

Flanders in prosperity

There could be no better backdrop for a seminar on Education than the large auditorium at the Vives University of Applied Sciences in Bruges. And no better lecturer to get the workshop started than leading European candidate Geert Bourgeois. “If Flanders is a prosperous federal state and enjoys a position among the European leaders, it is largely thanks to our education,” Geert Bourgeois told a full auditorium. But the Minister-President expressed his concern. “The number of young people reaching the top level is falling. That is disturbing.” The conclusion was therefore easily drawn: the educational challenges are large.

Good Flemish education

After Geert Bourgeois, Professor of Cognitive Psychology Wouter Duyck gave a fascinating lecture on the state of Flemish education. He started off with good news: “Flemish education has always been good. And it still is when you compare it to Wallonia or the European average.” However, that good news does not take away from the fact that the level of performance has fallen noticeably over the last ten years. According to Professor Duyck, the causes are diverse, with among other things less attention being paid to cognitive aspects of learning, a destructive idea of equality and low motivation.

Focus on learning and teaching

After a noted video testimony by Johan Strobbe, a history teacher at the Klein Seminarie in Roeselare, a panel of four experts under the expert moderation of Peter De Roover discussed the challenges in our education. In addition to Professor Duyck, Tessa Kieboom, Professor Wim Van den Broeck (VUB) and Pedro De Bruyckere shared their insights on themes such as high-quality education, higher education, the M Decree and the importance of strong teachers. The general trend was that the individualisation in Flemish education has prevailed and that the focus must once again shift from well-being to learning and teaching.

Taking the helm

Flemish MP Koen Daniëls presented the ten solutions that the N-VA is putting forward for our Flemish education. After that, the N-VA’s general chairman Bart De Wever closed the latest V-Day with a passionate election speech. “Flanders must be ready to take the helm. If the red-green front comes to power in Wallonia and can make a position for itself at federal level, it will be Flanders that will have to pay for it. Then it will be the Flemings who will have to pay for the billions of euros of green taxes or red promises,” said Bart De Wever, who expressed the wish to form a Flemish Government rapidly after 26 May that can form a powerful counterweight to that red-green front.

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