Thousands of students still waiting on schoolbooks
Between five to ten thousand packets of schoolbooks have not been delivered to students in the Netherlands yet due to a staff shortage at the largest distributor of schoolbooks, Van Dijk Educatie, AD reported.
The company offered a digital alternative for all students who did not yet receive their books. “Now that the schools are fully open we would have liked a smooth start for students and teachers”, a spokesperson told the AD.
The company had about 30 percent fewer temporary workers available than usual.
Several clients who ordered their books in July have not received them. In some cases, the entire school is still waiting to receive their books, as for example, in the Pontes Scholengroep in Zeeland, Omroep Zeeland reported.
“I think that if you have been supplying schoolbooks for years, you would know the process from A to Z. How is this possible?”, Pontes director Paula de Nooijer told the local news outlet.
The school union for secondary education said they are aware of the problem but there is little they can do. “It is seasonal work. You need to deliver a lot in a short period of time”, the union sympathized. “On the other side: you do it every year. You could have been better prepared for it. You can’t just brush it off as a consequence of the pandemic.”
In total, Van Dijk Educatie has to deliver 550 thousand packets this year.
This was not the first time students started the new school year without books. In 2017, around 7,500 secondary schools received their materials late.