Due to a decreasing number of pupils, secondary schools are threatening to disappear from at least 10 shrinking regions in the east of the Netherlands - Groningen, Friesland, Limburg and Zeeland, according to secondary school organization VO-Raad. This could mean that pupils in rural areas may have to travel over 20 kilometers to go to school, the organization warns, NOS reports.
Dutch high schools are increasingly getting rid of traditional timetables and experimenting with new ones. Currently at least a fifth of secondary schools in the Netherlands have said goodbye to traditional 50 minutes-long lessons, according to a survey by Leerling 2020, a project of sector organization VO-Raad, AD reports.
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."
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.
Thousands of high school students across the Netherlands are still waiting for their school books. School book supplier Van Dijk Educatie is struggling with major delivery problems, De Stentor reports.
Schools calling Van Dijk to complain are met with an automated message in which the company acknowledges the problems, according to the newspaper. The supplier estimates that about 7,500 high school pupils do not have their complete learning package yet. Some haven't received any books.
Last year a total of 54.720 students repeated a year in high school or failed their final exam, according to figures from education agency DUO. That amounts to 5.7 percent of the total number of high school students, compared to 5.4 percent the previous year, AD reports
The increase in the number of repeaters is a break with the downward trend that started in 2012. Between 2012 and 2015 the number of repeaters fell from 6.5 percent of high school students to 5.4 percent.
The number of kids being bullied at school in the Netherlands is decreasing, though it is till a problem many children face on a daily basis, according to State Secretary Sander Dekker of Education. This year 10 percent of primary school kids were harassed by a bully at least once a month, compared to 14 percent two years ago. In high school, that figure decreased from 11 to 8 percent.
Former Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert was appointed to lead the fight against truancy in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education announced on Monday. His job will be to enforce agreements made in a Truancy Pact made with the aim of having not a single child out of school for more than 3 months by 2020.
Volkskrant.nl reports that the number of primary- and secondary schools under financial supervision has increased from 12 in September 2012 to 26 this month. The inspection on education, Onderwijsinspectie, had to publish these numbers according to the Dutch law on publicity of governance, Wet openbaarheid van bestuur (Wob).