Minister of education Claude Meisch and European Schools secretary general, Giancarlo Marcheggiano, signing the agreement during Tuesday's press conference
Minister of education Claude Meisch (DP) and European Schools secretary general, Giancarlo Marcheggiano, signed an agreement of approval during a Tuesday press conference on the three public European schools that opened their doors in Luxembourg for the 2018-2019 school term.
Lënster Lycée, the international school in Junglinster (ISJ), as well as the international school in Clervaux (EIES) and Mondorf-les-Bains (EIMLB) all opened their doors in September last year, a project which Marcheggiano hailed as “ambitious” but which has been met with “great success”.
In addition, the approval of the international school of Differdange and Esch (EIDE), which opened its doors in 2016, was renewed.
Local demand, smooth transitions
According to Meisch, the schools answered a need not only to diversify the school offering, but also to provide more flexibility when it comes to education in a variety of languages. The goal, he says, is to promote “different schools for different students”, while ensuring that students have access to nationally- and internationally-recognised diplomas. The schools further benefit from the broader European schools network.
As Meisch explained, the school offerings also address the challenges of the international population. The schools help ensure a smooth transition for children moving from school to school, in cases where their parents may move to and from other locations, including other European member states.
A fifth European school is set to open in Luxembourg City, as was outlined in the 2018-2023 government plan, and the minister confirmed that the offering of classes at ISJ would be enlarged to accommodate students during the interim waiting period. It is planned for a number of ISJ classes then to be transferred to the new school, with both schools working in close collaboration to ensure a smooth transition.
During the press conference, the latest audit results and figures for the four schools were also presented.
The four schools count a total of 1,003 students (452 in primary, 551 in secondary). Around one-third of the total students are in English sections (212 in primary, 126 in secondary).
Here’s a breakdown of how each school fared.
EIDE had in 2018-2019 a total of 113 students in its English primary section and 93 in its secondary equivalent, up from 84 and 49 students, respectively, from the previous school term. Its French section also witnessed strong growth, nearly doubling (to 290 students) in the French secondary section.
In the audit, EIDE was praised among other things for teacher and management enthusiasm and professionalistm, a positive academic climate, its 2018-2021 plan and its welcome classes which complement the European school system. Recommendations for EIDE included, for example, to continue supporting the European dimension as well as national identities and native languages during the learning process and reinforced cooperation amongst teachers at the primary and secondary levels.
In 2018-19, ISJ welcomed 87 students in its English primary section, 24 in the secondary equivalent. The school fared well in cooperating with local and national authorities, management’s implication in promoting the school, as well as a clear procedures and development, efforts to improve student cooperation, quality of infrastructure, and a good overall learning environment. Future recommendations included, for example, the need to better diversify teaching and learning methods for more active student participation and better differentiate language profiles.
The EIMLB had 9 students in its English secondary programme, 12 in its English primary. Its strengths included management’s availability, taking in into account individual needs of students, motivation of the community, and plenty more, but it was recommended the school follow through more with the Dalton pedagogy and reinforce communication with parents, for example.
The EIES (Edward Steichen international school) welcomed 30 secondary students (16 plus 14 in the French and German sections, respectively). The school was praised for coherent and modern concept in terms of pedagogy for the 21st century, its infrustructure and cooperation with local organisations and businesses, but recommendations included the need for more new media to be used.