Public schools in select regions of Belgium have started to offer Korean-language education through afterschool classes. Shown is a student at a school in the European country taking a demonstration class. (Korean Cultural Center in Belgium)
Select public schools in Belgium will offer Korean-language classes.
The Korean Cultural Center in Brussels on Feb. 6 said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education of Belgium's Wallonia-Brussels Federation to promote and spread the Korean language.
Under the MOU, Korean-language classes are officially included in the Open Language Culture Program run by public schools in the Brussels-Wallonia region.
The agreement is valid through Feb. 5, 2028, five years from its signing date, and can be extended.
This program allows students to attend not only Korean-language classes for more than an hour per week, but also those for Korean cultural aspects such as Hanji (traditional paper) crafts and calligraphy.
Korean is the 11th language that the Brussels-Wallonia government has signed an official agreement on language education as well as the third Asian tongue after Japanese and Chinese.
A combined 220 students at five schools and 12 classes are taking trial classes in Korean, which were launched in September last year. Based on this pilot program, the KCC and the ministry will also discuss adopting Korean as a regular course in the educational curriculum.
Pascale Delcomminette, administrator general of the ministry who attended the signing of the MOU, said, "Interest in the Korean language and culture is really hot among young people under 40," adding, "We hope that this business agreement further strengthens language and cultural exchanges between the two countries."
Korean Ambassador to Belgium Yoon Soon-gu said, "Korea and Belgium are conducting active exchanges in various fields," adding, "We hope that this agreement further expands bilateral exchanges in education and academics."
By Yoon Sojung