Dutch education system increasing inequality among children; Quality insufficent
The Netherlands' education system does not reduce the inequality in opportunities among children, but rather increases it, the social and economic council SER said in advice to the Cabinet. The current quality of education is also insufficient, the council said, NOS reports.
The coronavirus pandemic only made the inequality problems bigger, the SER said. Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds are less likely to have a "stimulating and facilitating home environment", resulting in them experiencing relatively more negative consequences of school closures.
Equal opportunities are "in everyone's interest", SER ember Steven van Eijck said to NOS. "It's nice to use your talents, do what you're good at and develop further. And that's simply good for our society: everyone can participate."
A contributing factor behind this inequality, is the early selection of students, the SER said. The organization advised having more bridge classes, and only dividing children into the different education levels - VMBO, HAOV, VWO - at a later stage.
The report also contained a number of recommendations to improve the quality of education. The teacher shortages, full classes, high work pressure, and students' declining performance in the field of language and mathematics show that the current quality is insufficient, the SER said.