Question for written answer to the Commission

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5 Slovenian MEPs: Tanja Fajon (S&D) , Jelko Kacin (ALDE) , Alojz Peterle (PPE) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) and Milan Zver (PPE) sent question to the Commission.

Subject: As a result of the increase in the number of pupils at the European School in Luxembourg (Luxembourg 1), a new school (Luxembourg 2) has been built in the suburb of Mamer/Bertrange, causing numerous organizational problems

Answer(s)

1. TRANSPORT. Public transport links are poor and no transport has been organised for the youngest children. Children can travel unaccompanied on public transport only from the age of 12; before that they are taken by their parents. For those parents and their young children in the new school that means spending approximately two hours a day on the road.

2. ORGANISATION OF AFTER SCHOOL CARE. After rschool care has been arranged next to the Luxembourg 2 school (at the CPE V facility), but there is no possibility for the children concerned to attend after school care closer to the place where their parents work (i.e. at CPE III in Kirchberg). The parents will therefore have to leave work much earlier in order to collect their children on time, despite the fact that the purpose of after school care is to ease the burden on the parents.

Children were allocated to the two schools on the basis of nationality/language, partly taking into account the place of residence of the biggest language groups. Children from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria are in Luxembourg 1. Children who speak Italian, Greek, Danish, Hungarian, Czech, Romanian, Slovak, Maltese, Irish and Slovene were allocated to Luxembourg 2. Both schools have English, French and German sections. When the Luxembourg 2 school was being built the idea of a horizontal split (primary level at one school and secondary level at the other), which is the standard way of organising education in national systems, was rejected on account of the cost of refitting the buildings, although it has many advantages, and, above all, the difficulties caused by the distance of Luxembourg 2 from Kirchberg, where Luxembourg 1 is located, would be shared equally among all Member States/families.

Can the Commission please indicate:

When it will carry out an analysis of the school system in Luxembourg which takes full account of the benefits and costs of a horizontal split?

How it intends to help parents of children at the Luxembourg 2 school? When can we expect after school care to be arranged closer to the place of work and when can an agreement be expected on the organisation of transport and the reimbursement of the costs involved?

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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