Students protest in Amsterdam against online lectures
Students are protesting on Museumplein in Amsterdam on Friday afternoon demanding more access to in-person education. The student organizations are concerned about the quality of education because of all the online lectures since the start of the coroanvirus crisis.
Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said on Friday that she understands the students are frustrated, adding that her ministry is looking for creative solutions with municipalities and other institutions to find spaces that can safely host more students.
“Everyone is doing what they can under the circumstances,” she said. The government was firm in its position that 1.5 meters of safe social distance was still necessary, making it difficult to find an appropriate classroom space.
Students outside Amsterdam were urged not to come to the demonstration, in connection with the coronavirus and the measures in place to curb its spread, but show support online with the hashtag #ikwiliaanschool. Students who do attend the demonstration were urged to maintain social distancing and wear a face mask.
"Especially now that it is becoming clear that we do not yet have the corona under control, it is important to focus on solutions This also applies to education," said Lyle Muns, chairman of student union LSVb.
The student unions are calling on the government for money so that universities can rent theaters, concert halls and event locations where corona-proof physical education can be provided, according to ANP. This is a win-win solution, they argue, as students can have physical lectures and the hard-hit cultural- and events sector can get some extra income.