OKAN is Dutch terminology for the education that is organized to receive non-native children in Flemish educational institutions. This kind of education is intended for pupils who are new to the country and have a specific need being the absence of or insufficient proficiency of the Dutch (Flemish) language. In primary education, OKAN consists of 1 or 2 “reception years”, possibly with a follow-up year. In secondary school, OKAN students receive Dutch language lessons for 1 year, followed by follow-up in their further education. The schools that offer OKAN have large autonomy in the way they organize this.
(Source: Klasse sept 2016, Dutch article “What after OKAN”, interview with Ann Devos, pedagogical guide for foreign-language newcomers.)
In addition, the general functionalities that benefit every student:
The Alinea scanning and reading app (for iOS and Android) will also strongly support these students in their social contacts in daily life. Any printed information you see (in the store, in the library, …) can be turned into spoken text in no time. You take a picture of the text, the app scans and reads.
Thanks to the free reading software program of the Flemish government, called the “LeesVoor Vlaanderen” project, this software is free of charge for students in primary and secondary education with a certificate (dyslexia, dysorthography, …) or motivated report of special education.
Most OKAN students do not have a certificate or a motivated report, but they do have an explicit need for reading software (and the digital version of their textbooks so that these can be read easily). Without these tools, they might have serious problems with reading and/or writing.
All students are entitled to reasonable accommodation to suit their educational needs. The Flemish government, therefore, provided the following solution: Given that these aids fit within the care process of the school, the initiative lies within the school, which consults with both parents and CLB about the request for an ADIBib certificate. The certificate itself is issued by the CLB. This way the software can also be offered to OKAN students free of charge. At least as long as the need for these resources is felt, which often is throughout the whole school career since it takes about 7 years to get at the language level of a native speaker.