Education minister worried about increasing pressure on students, pupils

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Jet Bussemaker (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). Jet Bussemaker (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education, Culture and Science is concerned about the increasing pressure to perform that is on school pupils and university  and college students, she said at the opening of the academic year in Nijmegen on Monday, RTL Nieuws reports.

"Think of the shadow education, where children in primary school are prepped for the final test because their parents want their child to get a HAVO advice, instead of a VMBO advice, even if the latter fits better with the child", Bussemaker said. According to her, that could lead to a "world of unhappiness". "Always walking on your toes to just barely get over the ditch. Always being the worst in your class. Not being able to play with your friends because they have extra classes."

The same dangers face students in tertiary education. "Recent research showed that more than one in three PhD students at the universities of Amsterdam and Leiden are at risk of depression. Performance pressure also plays an important role here. More specifically, publication pressure."

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