Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins) - Credit: Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins)
Monday, September 5, 2016 - 15:55
Education group: Limit parent contribution in primary school
Primary schools should limit the voluntary contribution from parents as much as possible so that kids from poorer families don't get disadvantage, education volunteer group Leergeld Nederland said in NOS on Monday. Schools sometimes ask parents to contribute money on a voluntary basis, often used for out-of-class activities like field trips or parties. These contributions range from 10 euros to 1,500 euros per year. According to Leergeld Nederland, these voluntary contributions often lead to unpleasant situations. Sometimes children whose parents could not afford the fee are not allowed to go on the field trip. In some cases parents have to deal with collection agencies. And there were even a few cases of the children's names being written on the board if their parents haven't made the voluntary contribution, according to the group. "These children often already don't have much and now they also have to miss out on the fun extras at school." Gaby van den Biggelaar, director of Leergeld Nederland, said to NOS. "We therefore want to remind schools with our pamphlet that the parent contribution is voluntary. Otherwise parents are put under unnecessary pressure." The government's stance on the voluntary contribution is that parents don't have to pay it if they do not agree with the amount or the purposes the school will use the money for. If the money is used for a compulsory activity, all children must attend whether or not their parents made a contribution. If it is a non-compulsory activity, the school may refuse the child.