Pupil takes exam board to court over question that 'made her fail'

Oeë, àè, ieë: Android masters the Limburg dialect

A pupil who narrowly failed her secondary school exams is taking legal action to overturn the result because of a mistake in one of the exam papers. The girl from Brabant, who has requested anonymity, fell 0.05 points short of an overall pass at VWO level, the highest tier of secondary education. She claims she lost marks because of an ambiguous question in the French paper and as a result faces not qualifying for the next stage of her education. The examination board CvTE acknowledged that two answers were possible for question 15 and awarded all students an extra 0.1 points by way of compensation, but the pupil's lawyer argued that this is not enough to redress the balance. 'I am asking the court to rule that the CvTE should have awarded a higher number of extra points, and then do so, so that my client can receive her certificate,' NOS quoted the lawyer as saying. It is thought to be the first time that an exam candidate has gone to court to try to force examiners to change their results. The VWO French paper had been at the centre of earlier criticism when teachers told NOS anonymously that they felt it was sub-standard. The education inspectorate took the unusual step of asking to see the CvTE's responses to teachers who were dissatisfied by the paper. 'This case is obviously about my client, but I wouldn't be surprised if other pupils who sat French, or other subjects, have had the same problem,' said the lawyer. 'If that's the case they should contact the CvTE and perhaps start legal proceedings.'  More >

Travel card group 'broke privacy agreement

Oeë, àè, ieë: Android masters the Limburg dialect The company behind the Dutch public transport smart card (ov-chipkaart) has handed travel information about the movements of 'dozens' of students suspected of lying about where they live to education ministry officials, the Volkskrant said on Tuesday. Translink's decision to give private information to Duo, the ministry unit which manages student grants and loans, contravenes the agreement struck when the transport card was launched in 2006, the paper said. Transport watchdogs have now asked the Dutch privacy body Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens to investigate. When the card was introduced, Translink said the privacy of travellers was a top priority and that it would only give information to third parties when ordered to do so by the public prosecution department. Translink now admits it receives 'five to 10' requests for information a week from Duo and that these requests were honoured until one student took the issue to court. In May judges ruled Duo broke privacy rules and tore up the fine issued to the student for claiming to live away from home even though he still lived with his parents. The lie had entitled him to a higher grant. Duo is currently appealing against that decision.Officials argue they are legally entitled to request the information from Translink as they are charged with tracking down fraud. Grants abolished A Duo spokesman told broadcaster NOS later on Tuesday that it had asked for the travel details of 377 students over the past two years. When grants for new students were stopped in 2015 the difference between the financial help available to students living at home and those in lodgings disappeared. But students who started a degree course before that date are still receiving grants towards the cost of their studies. The paper says in 2013, Duo carried out checks on 7,000 students it thought may have been claiming higher grants than they were entitled to and 3,300 were found to have been committing fraud.  More >

Sushi delivery service often unhygienic

Nearly half of sushi delivery services fail to meet hygiene standards One-third of sushi delivered by takeaway sushi services contains excessively high levels of bacteria, according to a survey by the consumers' association Consumentenbond. Tests carried out at 20 takeaway locations around the country found that nine failed to meet hygiene standards. Most sushi was contaminated as a result of being handled with dirty fingers. Traces of e.coli bacteria, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, were found at two restaurants in Groningen and Amersfoort, while two dishes at Sushi Time in Leiden contained bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning. Four restaurant chains – Sushipoint, Sumo Sushi Express, Shabu To Go and Sushi Time – were included in the survey, along with individual restaurants in Breda, Leiden, Amersfoort, Rotterdam and Groningen. Most of the sushi tested was fresh and hygienically prepared, inspectors said. The best rated restaurant was Sushipoint in Leiden, with an overall score of 9.6 out of 10, followed by Mr Sushi and Miss Wok in Breda on 9.1. Sushipoint also came out as best of the chains with an average score of 8.6.  More >

Staff detained after shoplifter dies

Staff detained over death of apprehended shoplifter A shoplifter who was injured as he tried to flee from two store workers has died in hospital. The Polish man was stopped as he tried to leave the Sligro store in Gouda on August 11. He was knocked unconscious when he ran into a glass door. Two male members of staff held him down until police arrived, but the officers were unable to resuscitate him. A spokesman for the prosecution service said he died on Monday, 10 days later, having failed to regain consciousness. The store workers, aged 56 and 57, have been detained as suspects and are being questioned on Tuesday. The men have been identified as suspects so they can access their legal rights, the prosecution service said, adding that no decision had been taken on whether to bring criminal charges.   More >

'Ban on organ trading isn't working'

Oeë, àè, ieë: Android masters the Limburg dialect Countries with long waiting lists for organ transplants should be able to experiment with a system to allow people to donate a kidney in return for a financial rewad, a Dutch criminologist and international lawyer recommends. Frederike Ambagtsheer, criminologist and international lawyer at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, included the proposal in her PhD thesis about organ trade. The present ban on organ trading doesn’t work and leads to higher prices and a lack of screening and aftercare for both patients and donors, she claims. Ambagtsheer thinks the government should be in charge of the reward system. ‘It could come in the shape of free health insurance, tax breaks or money,’ she told the Volkskrant. In 1987 the trade in organs was banned by the World Health Organisation. It is usually the poor and most vulnerable who illegally offer their organs for money. ‘To say: you are poor and therefore you can’t sell a kidney is frankly paternalistic. The trade in organs may be immoral but so letting people on a waiting list die,’ the paper quotes Ambagtsheer as saying. But professor of health law Martin Buijsen thinks there is ‘nothing paternalistic’ about the ban. ‘It is morally wrong that you can persuade poor people to part with an organ more easily than rich people. That is why the ban is part of the human rights charter, so the vulnerable in society are protected,’ he told the paper. A change in the present donor system would be a much more logical choice, Buijsen says. ‘The D66 proposal for active donorship (an opt-out system instead of an opt-in system, DN) is now awaiting approval by the senate. That should yield more organs and respects human rights. It would not get rid of the waiting lists completely but no system would,’ the paper quotes him as saying. Ambagtsheer’s is not the only voice to advocate a financial reward system for kidney donation. Corinne Dettmeijer, national rapporteur on trafficking of human beings, thinks a discussion about a responsible system merits broader political attention, the paper said  More >