Family: The minister for education gives an update on the new international school in Differdange opening in September.
Interest in the new Differdange International School (EIDD) has not waned since its opening was announced last year. The first public (and thereby free) school of its kind in Luxembourg will start welcoming students in both primary and secondary classes this coming school year in two main language sections (French and English). For weeks, eager parents have been calling the school to know how to apply, and over 150 people turned up to each of the two information meetings held at the end of February, a majority of whom were non-nationals.
The education minister, and former mayor of Differdange, Claude Meisch is not surprised. “We’re offering a model that doesn’t exist here yet but for which there is a strong need. Our wish is to diversify our educational offer and create a system that can welcome everyone, at any age. As it is today, 3,000 students living in Luxembourg cross the borders every day to attend schools in neighbouring countries, mostly because it’s the only real choice they have.”
The EIDD will join the small club of the 12 currently accredited European schools in the EU which follow the European schools syllabus but are part of national school networks. In the upcoming school year only about 160 students will be admitted (in temporary buildings) and new classes will then open each year. Once the new campus is completed in 2020, there will be room for 1,400 students.
Applications for the 2016-2017 school year closed on 15 March. “The selection won’t be done on a first-come first-served basis,” says Meisch. “It’s a school for all. The two main criteria will be motivation and to some extent geography. Those living in the Differdange area will be given priority.”
“Of course, the question of creating a school similar to the EIDD in the centre of the country will soon arise and I also strongly encourage secondary schools in general to open international sections. The demand for it is far stronger than for the classic secondary school. Hopefully, when there will be three times as many applicants as spaces at the EIDD, it will be a clear enough message.”