Sailing trip as reward 'overboard'

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"A sailing trip to reward students with excellent results is a bit overboard," ruled an attendance officer, when he denied the request of the Rotterdam Hugo de Groot pre-University school, Saturday. Students with excellent scores were going to be rewarded with a six-week sailing trip in the Caribbean while continuing their classes on board the ship.

The City of Rotterdam looked to the Ministry of Education for advice when it learned about the school's plans. The Ministry did not consider a sailing trip a legitimate reason for exemption of compulsory school attendance. "The students belong in a school in The Netherlands and the school should be available for inspection. The Inspectorate would not be able to guarantee the quality of education the children should receive," stated the Inspectorate in an email to the director of the school, Eric van 't Zelfde. The Ministry wants to help Van 't Zelfde come up with different ways to reward the students for their good work. In response to the news, Rotterdam alderman for Education, Hugo de Jonge, stated he thought a sailing trip as a reward was "far fetched."

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