vendredi 17 février 2012

Belgium: linguistic dictatorship.

 
A primary school punishes students if they speak French.

         In February 2012, the Belgian media have pinned the College Saint-Pierre (or Sint-Pieterscollege de Jette), a Dutch primary school in Jette 5 km from the center of Brussels (49,111 inhabitants) that hosts including King Baudouin Park for a new regulation language that provides for hours of "punishment "for students caught speaking French in the playground.
        
The children are forced to speak only in "Flemish" at Saint-Pierre Jette. If they are caught three times trying to speak French, they will be fined and required to attend a language course, reports the VTM television channel.
        
Yet the two languages ​​are taught at Saint-Pierre Jette along with Latin and English in the two final years (fifth and sixth). And internal regulations, the college provides for sanctions against "intellectual intolerance."
        
"It's not fair" said a parent of a student interviewed by VTM, by questioning the validity of the measure.
            Another parent of a student adds it is "an evil language that affects only children who speak French, it's in black and white".
         "We do not see it as a punishment," but rather as a way to encourage students to speak Dutch, defends the headmistress, Veronica Vanhercke television VTM.
            "It's okay to punish a child when uncivil behavior (fighting, insults ...) but one's own language, like that in the playground, there is nothing uncivil. But where is it? There is still a free country! How can we make people want to learn a language using such methods? This can create a blockage in children. It is anti-educational. I maintain that there are other ways than this. (...) We need to talk, explain things to children. There are always ways to bring the child home with gentleness and persuasion. This could include organizing games at recess. It is in this sense that we must go. " Thundered the deputy mayor (Deputy Mayor) FDF of education at Crainhem, Veronique Caprasse.
        
The municipality of Jette has 15 francophone schools and 13 Dutch-speaking schools.
        
The town, which was an ancient lordship was called Jetta in 1095, Getta in 1149, Jhet in 1220, Jette in 1389, Yette in 1435 and finally St. Pierre Jette since 1659.
        
Belgium, which is emerging painfully from the longest political crisis in history because of a language dispute between Flemings and Walloons has a new government since December 2011, led by a prime minister of Italian origin, Elio di Lupo.

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