Government to provide €6 billion to help students who are falling behind
Over the next two years, a total of six billion euros will be provided to support primary and secondary schools as they emerge from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cabinet announced on Monday. The money is intended to help with the emotional development and well-being of children, and not solely to help students who may be lagging behind their classmates after 14 months where in-person classes and instruction were interrupted by the response to the health crisis.
“Starting today, schools can take advantage of a drop-down menu of proven effective ways to catch up on student gaps and improve the quality of education,” the statement from the government said. The options include extending the school day for all students, or offering extra class time at the end of the day to those who need it.
“Also for twelve weeks, five times a week, 30 minutes of one-to-one instruction by a teacher will help students progress. In addition, schools can opt for instruction in small groups, and half an hour of reading and mathematics in groups every two weeks, where students learn from each other,” the statement continued.
Additionally, schools will be eligible to receive at least 700 euros per pupil next school year. Schools, where many students are struggling to reach targets would be able to receive more cash and resources.
“I am pleased that with this we can provide very practical support for schools. The menu is of course no magic bullet, but it is an important resource for teachers, school leaders and support staff. I am confident that this will work and I see a lot of work has been put in to help students progress,” said Arie Slob, Caretaker Minister of Education.
Schools were tasked with charting how their students are currently doing. Based on this, school boards and teacher teams make a plan for the coming school year and choose from the possible approaches that have been developed in collaboration with teachers, school leaders, educational organizations and scientists.