European School system-A System Perfectly Designed to Fail

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The current organisation of the school could not have been better designed to fail. Parents with the youngest children are the worst affected and most likely to seek and find manageable alternatives. Those children now being registered at alternative schools will be lost to the European School system for good. With low registration at this earliest level, that scarcity of children will affect all age levels in the school within five years. The German section is the first to go. Diminishing child numbers means that other subject options will disappear steadily. What next? School fees for institution staff, to help sustain a costly campus that fewer people want?

The attempt by the school to boost registration by forcing all EN/FR/DE children to use LUX II, rather than dealing with the discrimination, will accelerate the decline of Lux II and Lux I. It is an act of desperation and an acknowledgment that the planning to date has been utterly misconceived. Many parents have made, and are continuing to make expensive decisions to move what they believe are Lux I catchment areas, but which will not be in the near future. How long will EU staff have to put up with this chopping and changing of enrollment policies? Will they be compensated for the pointless residential and mortgage decisions they have made on the basis of their legitimate expectations?

Privileged group

The other obvious question is if Lux I is now going to cater only for a small, privileged group of Baltic Rim countries. What are they going to do with all the unused school space? How viable is that? And if Lux I will have no vehicular language section, how will that affect the teaching of second languages there?

Parents will be parents and they will put welfare and education at the top of their agenda, even if the European School does not. Those parents will continue to look for child centred, family friendly alternatives, no matter how hard the school authorities try to bully them into accepting their divisive, discriminatory agenda.

Contrast this with the horizontal split alternative

All parents would be offered manageable early learning facilities near their place of work, regardless of their nationality. Those children would be safer, have more sleep and family contact. Also would be treated equally and would grow up together within the European School system. Then, approaching their teenage years, it would be natural for them to stay with their school friends and make the leap, together, and on an equal basis, to a secondary facility with attractive subject options in Mamer. As older children can travel by themselves, no family would have to make costly and life diminishing moves into the commuter belt. There would be no need for constant changes to the enrolment policy to try to prop up dead-end, discriminatory policies.

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960