Education council wants shorter summer vacation or longer school days to catch up pupils
If schools remain closed due to the coronavirus for much longer, pupils will fall behind, according to the Education Council, the government's main advisory body on education. To give pupils extra time to catch up, the Education Council suggest either a shorter summer vacation or longer school days next year, RTL Nieuws and AD report.
The Council's first proposed solution is to start the summer vacation earlier - while everything is still in lockdown, or to make it shorter. Another option is to extend school days in the coming academic year, for example to between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. These measures will be necessary if schools remain closed after May 1st, according to the Education Council.
"We ask the Minister to consider this and look to the interests of children, parents and teachers," Education Council chairman Edith Hooge said to AD.
Early next week, the government will make a decision on when and how to reopen schools.
The vast majority of schools are currently doing their best to keep teaching pupils through distance learning. And while most pupils participate in this, schools throughout the country have lost track of around 5,200 children since schools closed in mid-March.
A third of teachers are worried about their pupils falling behind at home, but many also worry about opening schools too soon. Keeping 1.5 meters apart at school is physically almost impossible in many cases, especially when working with younger kids.