Children's Ombudsman joins call to reopen secondary school
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer joined the call for secondary schools to be reopened as quickly as possible. Some pupils and students were protesting this point in The Hague on Wednesday.
Kalverboer wants secondary schools to reopen on March 1, she said, ANP reports. "The socio-emotional and mental damage of the corona measures and lockdown is so great for young people that it is not justified from a development perspective to keep secondary schools closed any longer," she said. "My job is to promote respect for the rights of children and young people. I see that in addition to the right to education, the right to development as a whole is also under serious pressure."
According to Kalverboer, the group of vulnerable teenagers is growing and is no longer limited to young people who were already vulnerable or in a vulnerable situation before the pandemic broke out. It is becoming increasingly difficult for kids to keep up distance learning, she said. "They drop out, are demotivated, have experiences of failure and go into a downward spiral."
"I understand that reopening secondary school for staff as well as young people entails health risks. I ask you to facilitate schools, so that they can provide the safest possible working and learning environment for staff and pupils," Kalverboer said to the government.
In a press conference for children and young people on Tuesday, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge promised that there will be an update on Tuesday on when secondary schools can reopen. Primary schools and daycare centers opened last week.