New courses in secondary education
In February 2023, the minister of Education, Children and Youth presented the new secondary education courses for the start of the academic year 2023/24:
For secondary education:
- Section P 'Cognitive Science and Humanities' focuses on human and social sciences, as well as on data analysis and communication. Pupils will also develop skills in human biology in order to understand how humans function, to measure their impact on nature and vice versa.
- Section R 'Politics and Sustainable Development' focuses on geopolitical aspects, international relations, political studies, knowledge of how the world and society works.
For general secondary education:
- The 'Technology, Sport and Health' section starts in the 4th year and is aimed at pupils who are interested in sports science in relation to new technologies and health. There is also an emphasis on social psychology and communication.
Accomodation of Ukrainian pupils
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, more than 1 000 Ukrainian pupils have been enrolled in private and public schools, mainly in public international schools.
New primary and secondary classes have been opened in six international schools and other school buildings. This school offer allows students to attend reception classes in English, which facilitates learning as Ukrainian pupils learn English from the 3rd grade. Pupils also have the opportunity to join a regular international class and, depending on their progress, a second language will be added - German or French. Pupils whose level allows it join a regular international class directly.
In addition, solutions have been put in place for young Ukrainians reaching the end of secondary school. In August/September, the Ukrainian Ministry of Education organised an online test allowing young people to access Ukrainian university studies.
Additional arrangements have been made for pupils to receive tutoring and take part in extracurricular activities during the school holidays.
Compulsory school age to be raised
In March 2022, the minister of Education, Children and Youth presented the draft law aiming to improve education, and increasing the limit for mandatory education from 16 to 18.
This extension is an important tool for preventing school drop-outs (8,29% in 2019/20) and ensuring a better integration into the labour market. Alternative training offers based on the existing model of the CISP (Centres d’insertion socio-professionnelle) will supplement the new measure.
New courses in classic secondary education
For the start of the 2022/23 academic year, two new secondary education courses have been launched:
- Section A : Luxembourgish – as a pilot project and in addition to modern languages, the Lycée Michel Rodange offers the new section A- Luxembourgish. Students can choose between Luxembourgish, Italian and Spanish as a fourth modern language.
- Section N : Entrepreneurship, Finance and Marketing - the classic secondary education section of the ECG (École de commerce et de gestion) prepares students for university studies, especially in the fields of management, international management, entrepreneurship, marketing, finance and data science.
A diverse school offer
1. French international Baccalaureate (IB): Since the 2022/23 academic year, the Lycée Mathias Adam (LMA) is the first school to offer a 4th grade class preparing for the International Baccalaureate (IB) in French. Luxembourg law recognises the International Baccalaureate as a secondary school diploma. An international Baccalaureate in English is already part of the educational offer of the Athénée de Luxembourg.
The international school offer will be further expanded in the coming years:
- At the start of the school year 2023/24: international classes for the 3rd and 7th grades
- At the start of the school year 2024/25: 6th and 2nd year classes will be added
- At the start of the school year 2025/26: international classes from 7th to 1st.
2. École internationale Gaston Thorn (EIGT) - First accredited European school in Luxembourg City: A sixth accredited European public school opened its doors in Luxembourg City for the start of the school year 2022/23, the École internationale Gaston Thorn (EIGT). European public education is thus available in all regions of the country.
The new European School is built around three pillars: digital, music and democracy.
The European schools are free of charge and adapted to the Luxembourg context, allowing pupils to choose one of three sections: German, French and English. The importance of the Luxembourg language is not undermined - Luxembourgish is compulsory from the first year of primary school to the third year of secondary school.
Extension of state-funded European schooling
Resuming the enlargement of the geographical distribution of public European schooling, the government council approved on 10 March 2021 the draft bill for the creation of a fifth accredited European school in the centrally-situated city of Mersch.
This decision contributes to the implementation of the government programme 2018-2023, which foresees that the offer of international and European classes shall be extended, with priority given to the centre of the country.
As a response to the needs of an increasingly heterogeneous school population, the national education system has been committed for years to expanding, diversifying and making its school offer more flexible. A priority objective of the State is to provide a public education system in which every student has a chance to succeed, regardless of the language spoken at home. This is important for the sake of social cohesion, but also to prevent educational failure and school drop-out.
The new school École Internationale Mersch Anne Beffort (EIMAB) opened its doors at the beginning of the 2021/22 school year, at first only for secondary classes. The primary school, a full-day maison-relais, and a boarding school will follow in 2022. EIMAB thus will be the first public international school in Luxembourg to offer boarding.
EIMAB's offer will also include classes for academically weaker students, namely classes of the international preparation track offering several working languages, as well as welcome classes and professional initiation.
The evolution of pupil enrolment figures, totalling in school year 2020/21 some 2 450 pupils enrolled in the current four accredited European schools, confirms that there is a real need for public European provision.
At the press conference presenting the new EIMAB, the ministry of Education, Children and Youth announced that a sixth accredited European school is due to open by school year 2022/23 in Luxembourg city.