An unevenly distributed teacher shortage is putting the future of Dutch education at risk, the Education Inspectorate said in its annual State of Education report. The quality of education is still on par on average, but to maintain that level, "hard choices" will have to be made, the Inspectorate said, NU.nl reports.
A lack of available primary school teachers forced the Rudolf Steinerschool in Haarlem to put an early end to its Group 7 class on Thursday. The students from the Waldorf-style education program will be redistributed among similar schools in Haarlem, Hillegom, and Hoofddorp, up to 15 kilometers away.
"We've searched all over the country," said Lida Berkhout, the school's deputy director. "From Groningen to Brabant," she told the Volkskrant.
Teachers of all levels of education are striking on Friday for more investment in education, because the quality is under pressure. More than half of primary schools are closed today. The teachers will gather on the Malieveld in The Hague to protest, NU.nl reports.
Amsterdam is tackling the teacher shortage in the city with extra parking permits, a larger travel allowance, money for teachers coming from other professions, scholarships to improve teams in schools, and 10 thousand euros per director for support, education alderman Marjolein Moorman announced on Monday, Het Parool reports.
Parents of pupils attending CBS Tamarinde in Zaandam want the primary school to return to a five-day school week. The school has been using a four-day school week these past months due to a shortage of teachers. On the fifth day children stay at home with homework. The parents are fed up with this and filed a request with the municipal school attendance officer to reverse the measure, NOS reports.
The general association for school leaders AVS and union CNV are calling on school directors not to arrange a replacement teacher if any of their teachers call in sick. With this the unions want to show politicians and society that school leaders are no longer able to arrange replacements, and that they are under great pressure, NOS reports.
Student enrollment for higher professional education (HBO) in the Netherlands reached a record high for the academic year 2018/2019, the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences announced. A total of 110,307 students enrolled, 3.4 percent more than the previous year, NU.nl reports.
An increase in first year students can be seen in almost all sectors of higher professional education, both in full-time and part-time courses.
General education union AOb and trade union FNV Onderwijs en Onderzoek are planning a national strike in primary, secondary and higher education on March 15th. Various action groups, including PO in Actie and WO in Actie, support the strike, the Volkskrant reports.
Have all teachers, from primary to secondary education and from pre-school to secondary vocational education, follow the same basic teacher training, after which they can specialize if they wish, the Education Council said in advice to parliament. This will make the profession more attractive and thus help solve the teacher shortage, the Council said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Primary school Het Kompas in Hoorn came up with an emergency plan to counter the growing teacher shortage. The school sent a letter to parents last week, asking them to fill in when teachers are sick so that kids do not have to be sent home, NH Nieuws reports.
This plan was made in preparation for the autumn period and flu season. Earlier this year the school had to send two classes home because no substitute teacher could be found. "We hold our hearts when someone gets sick", Jaap Muurling, director of Het Kompas, said to NH.
The teacher shortage has become such a problem in Zaanstad that schools have to switch to a four-day school week this autumn. "In places where there is no other option, we will be doing this in the short term", Rien Spies of the Zaanstad school umbrella organization Agora confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
An increasing number of foreign teachers want to teach at Dutch schools, the Volkskrant reports based on figures from executive education agency DUO. Teachers from abroad know they have a solid chance of finding a job in the Netherlands due to the increasing teacher shortage in the country.
In 2015 DUO received 742 applications from foreign teachers who wanted their qualifications recognized in the Netherlands. Two years later, that increased by some 300. This year DUO also received over a thousand such requests.
In the coming school year, Amsterdam will tackle the teacher shortage in primary and secondary education with a team of over 60 municipal officials, four of whom have a teaching qualification. The team will support schools with administration or a class assistant. The four qualified officials will teach where necessary, the Volkskrant reports.
The massive primary school teacher shortage in the Netherlands seems to be mainly limited to the big cities in the west of the country, according to figures from benefits agency UWV that newspaper Trouw requested. There are enough, or even more than enough, teachers in the north, east, and south of the Netherlands, the newspaper writes.
As you get farther away from the big cities, it becomes easier and easier to fill vacancies. Outside the Randstad there are still more teachers than there are jobs available, and some teachers even struggle to find work.
Teacher training colleges received significantly more applications this year than in previous years. The increase is most pronounced in part time training, with 1,735 people registering before the summer holidays. That is 30 percent more than last year, NRC reports.
Shortened part-time courses did even better, with registrations doubling to 350. Full-time courses saw an increase of 11 percent to 7,864 registrations. These figures come from mid-June.
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.
Around 7,900 children in Amsterdam do not yet know who their teacher will be next year, according to BBO, an administrative group of 35 primary schools in the city. Amsterdam primary schools currently still have 315 vacancies, Het Parool reports.
The primary school teacher shortage in Amsterdam is expected to increase to 500 open vacancies by 2023, which means that 15 thousand pupils won't have a teacher.
Admission tests for teacher training implemented in 2015 were intended to lead to better students who will actually finish their training. But these tests are not having the desired effect, according to professor on education labor market Frank Corvers in the publication Onderwijs aan het werk 2018, Trouw reports.
Sanna Munnikendam, education alderman in Zaandam, was unpleasantly surprised to suddenly find posters calling for people to become teachers in Amsterdam throughout her city, Het Parool reports.
The poster shows a smiling woman with a smiling boy. It reads, in childlike writing: "Teacher, you always see what I'm good at". And below that: "Become a teacher in Amsterdam"
"I express myself softly when I say that the action was not pleasantly received here", Munnikendam said to Het Parool.
In an attempt to reduce the teacher shortage in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam is allocating 100 homes for which new teachers will get priority, the city announced on Friday. The city hopes that easier accessibility to housing will make it more attractive for starting teachers to teach in Amsterdam.
All students in the Netherlands studying to be a teacher will only pay half of their tuition fee for the first two years of their studies, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science announced. With this measure, the government hopes to combat the growing shortage of teachers by encouraging young people to chose the profession, NOS reports.
Next year Amsterdam is investing 425 million euros into the city, Finance alderman Udo Kock announced with the city's budget for 2018 on Wednesday. Amsterdam is investing in solving budget problems in various parts of the city, security measures, the work brigade, dealing with teacher shortage and art in public space.
The number of university-educated teachers in Dutch classrooms is decreasing, while this type of teacher is still very necessary, the royal Netherlands academy of sciences KNAW warns. Teachers with a university background are essential to prepare school pupils for their university studies, according to the academy, Het Parool reports.
Primary schools in the Netherlands are facing an increasing shortage in available teachers, especially in the Randstad area. This has reached such an extent that many education students now already have a teaching job in their second year of training - quite a contrast to a few years ago when graduated teachers had trouble finding work, the Volkskrant reports.