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 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.
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.
Not a single pupil in the final examination classes at VMBO Maastricht passed their exams successfully, according to a message the school sent to its 354 final exam pupils. "Before you can get your diploma, you must have completed the school exam with complete success. None of you have done that yet", the message reads, the Teleraaf reports.
This year and next year secondary vocational schools (VMBO) will receive more money for pupils with a technical profile, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education wrote in a letter to parliament. In this way the government wants to stimulate technical education, he said, NOS reports.
All Dutch primary- and secondary schools are obliged to give good "citizenship" lessons focused on the "basic values of the democratic constitutional state" in a new legislative proposal by Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education, NOS reports.
A tense few weeks lie ahead for Dutch high school students. The final exams start today for 211,550 high school kids in the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
VMBO pupils are kicking off the exams with English and Dutch on Monday. HAVO pupils are starting with physics, and VWO pupils have mathematics on the agenda.
The final exams end on May 29th with more exotic language subjects like Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Turkish. Frisian is also on the program for the last day of exams.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Parents must stop pushing kids to get into university, Minster Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education said to newspaper AD. According to him, this puts unnecessary stress on children and casts vocational education in a negative light, while the demand for people with practical skills is only increasing.