Mandatory high school internships axed
A large majority of Parliament supports the proposal to axe mandatory internships in high schools. This is part of a cost-cutting measure which has already been decided in a coalition agreement. Parliament agrees with the decision to make internships voluntary starting in the 2015-2016 school year, according to a Parliamentary debate yesterday with state secretary Sander Dekker of Education.
The internships at high schools are mainly community service-oriented. Bart Funnekotter, editor of the education section at NRC Handelsblad was keeping up with the debate, and tweeted that "Dekker wants schools to decide for themselves if their pupils will do social internships. 'Education citizenship is more than that internship'." The axing of the internships, which were introduced in 2011, produces €74 million. The internship was introduced by the CDA in an effort to give teenagers a chance to contribute to society. High School students had to do thirty hours of volunteer work. Back then there was a lot of resistance from schools against the internships. Now that the state secretary wants to be rid of the subsidy, many schools are becoming enthusiastic about it. It appeared in an exploration from the umbrella-organization for Christian schools that 70 percent of these 130 connected schools want to keep the social internships. But schools are free to keep the internships going by themselves, Dekker clarified last night. Funnekotter tweeted: "The state secretary at the start of social internships now cites Banarama [sic]: it ain't what you do, its the way that you do it."