German lessons disappearing from Dutch schools

Kids raising their hands in class
Kids raising their hands in classPhoto: luminastock/DepositPhotos

The Netherlands' national knowledge center on Germany DIA is concerned about German-language education in Dutch schools. More and more schools are dropping the language, mainly because teachers are hard to find, the institute said to newspaper AD.

According to DIA, schools are increasingly choosing Spanish, Russian or Chinese over teaching German and this is scandalous. "French and German are mentioned in the same breath as Turkish, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish. We fear that schools are getting more freedom to drop German." DIA believes that all school children must learn the languages spoken in the Netherlands' neighboring countries.

German and French are compulsory subjects in the lower years of HAVO and VWO, though pupils can replace one of the two with another language. In VMBO, German and French are electives. 

Germany is the Netherlands' largest trading partner, with a commercial value of almost 190 billion euros last year.