For the first time in Dutch history on Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, held a children's question hour. A total of 150 children from primary schools across the country took the places of parliamentarians and asked the government about matters that concern them, NOS reports.
The Ministry of Education will allow primary schools facing a teacher shortage to let people without a teaching qualification, but with specialist knowledge, teach certain subjects if no other solution can be found. This involves the subjects music, drama, handicraft, art, and world orientation. Subjects like language and mathematics must always have a qualified teacher. The unions are not pleased with this plan, NU.nl reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, adopted a motion that will allow kids in public schools to refuse participating in religious acts during a school trip to a religious institution like a church, mosque or synagogue. Parents can apply for an exemption for their kids, the motion states, RTL Nieuws reports.
The number of students enrolled for a bachelor's or master's program at Dutch universities increased by 5 percent to a record number of nearly 290 thousand students this academic years, according to preliminary figures by umbrella association VSNU. The final numbers will only be available early next year, NOS reports.
The growth can partly be attributed to larger intake by pre-university education (VWO) and higher professional education (HBO). The number of international students also increased. They now make up about 19 percent of all students.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education wants universities and colleges to reduce the psychological pressure on first year students. The Minister therefore wants to reduce the maximum number of credits that can be required from first year students in the so-called binding study advice (BSA) from 60 to 40, NOS reports.
The number of schools in the Netherlands for pupils between 10 and 14 years old will double in the coming school year. These middle-schools are an experiment intended to help pupils with the transition from primary school to secondary school.
The Cyber Security Council, an advisory body to the Dutch government, is calling on the Ministry of Education to push more money into artificial intelligence and related courses, so that universities don't have to limit the number of students they take in. The Council calls a student limit an undesirable and worrisome development, NOS reports.
New students to Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences will pay only half their tuition from the next academic year. The Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, approved cutting the tuition fees in half for first year students. Students starting teacher training will pay half tuition in their first two years of study, ANP reports.
Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education was admitted to a hospital in Zwolle on Wednesday due to a bacterial infection, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science said to parliament on Thursday, AD reports.
Four national monuments in Amsterdam are receiving a total of over a million euros from the Dutch government for restoration and major maintenance. In total the government is giving 34 million euros extra for the restoration of national monuments, windmills and mobile heritage, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science announced, Het Parol reports.
The police broke up a student protest at the University of Amsterdam on Friday night. According to the students, the police used batons, pepper spray and police dogs on them and several students sustained injuries. GroenLinks parliamentarian Zihni Ozdil wants an explanation from Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven, Het Parool reports.
Higher education in the Netherlands must be able to internationalize further, but only if it improves the quality of education and if Dutch students are not displaced, according to Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education. She is therefore giving universities and universities of applied sciences more room to internationalize, but this will go with clearer conditions and stricter supervision, ANP reports.
Dutch people's opinions bout lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are increasingly positive, social and cultural planning office SCP said in a new report published on Thursday. Despite this many Dutch still have problems with seeing same-sex couples kissing, Het Parool and NOS report.
Dutch universities want to limit the increase of students from abroad, umbrella organization VSNU confirmed to NOS after reports in NRC.
On Monday the VSNU will send an internationalization agenda to Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven. A spokesperson for the organization would not tell NOS what their plans entail, but did say that the agenda contains many more subjects than just the admission of new students.
Young people in vocational education MBO wants the government to officially refer to them as 'students'. Currently they are still called 'participants' in Dutch law, resulting in them not having access to all student benefits, according to the youth organization for vocational education JOB, NOS reports.
"It often happens now that you are told that you are not welcome somewhere, because you as MBO student are not a student", Roosmarijn Dam of JOB said to NOS. "Then you automatically start believing it."
Kids in Dutch primary- and secondary schools are achieving poorer and poorer results. The average results on subjects like reading, mathematics, science and physical education gradually declined over the past 20 years, the Education Inspectorate concluded in its annual report, the Volkskrant reports.
"On average the Netherlands is doing well", Inspector General Monique Vogelzang said to the newspaper. "But if you look at the long term, you see that we are slowing drifting downward. I'm worried about that."
It seems unlikely that a plan to ban firecrackers before New Year's will be implemented. A majority in parliament is against the plan, doubting how effective it will be in reducing the number of fireworks incidents in the Netherlands every New Year's, NOS reports after speaking with sources around the government.
Dutch newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad (RD) faced a storm of social media criticism after the Christian newspaper distributed flyers calling for protest against a Suitsupply ad campaign showing kissing men with its newspapers on Monday.
The government is giving small schools with fewer than 145 pupils a total of 20 million euros extra. This is to help these schools keep their quality on par, ANP reports.
There are about 2 thousand small schools in the Netherlands. According to Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education, these schools have to teach their pupils as well as large schools, but with fewer teachers and less money. They can therefore do with some extra financial help.
The Dutch government is allocating an annual 80 million euros a year for culture education, according to the memorandum Culture in an open society that Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science presented on Monday. Her ambition is to make sure that the cultural sector "flourishes", NOS reports.
The Dutch government will give primary schools and schools for special education more money next year to reduce teachers' workload. The Ministry of Education will divide 236 million euros among the 7 thousand schools next year. And that amount will increase in the coming years, RTL Nieuws reports based on figures from the Ministry.
Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education finds it unacceptable that children are sometimes excluded from school activities because their parents could not pay a voluntary parental contribution. He wants to make agreements with school organizations to prevent this from happening, NOS reports.
In 2012 the Jewish Cheider School in Amsterdam waited three months to report that teacher Ephraim S. is suspected of sexually assaulting students, and only did so under pressure from then Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt of Education, the Telegraaf reports based on internal documents from the school and conversations with former teachers.
The majority of primary schools in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe are closed today as around 6 thousand teachers go on strike for higher salaries and lower workloads. This is the first of a relay strike, starting today in the North. On March 14th primary school teachers in Flevoland, Utrecht, and Noord-Holland will strike, combined with a demonstration in Amsterdam, NOS reports.
The strikes are supported by the PO-Front, a joint action group consisting of trade unions, school leaders and managers.