Report: Dutch students ‘unmotivated’

Dutch school pupils are less motivated and enjoy school to a lesser extent than their European peers, news agency ANP reports on Wednesday, quoting the school inspectors’ 2013 report.

The Dutch education inspection body found that in primary education, children are not being actively engaged in 9% of lessons. In secondary education the figure is 21%. According to students, their plummeting motivation is caused by not receiving marks for every activity and a lack of feedback from the teachers, the news agency quoted the report as saying.

Innovation

The inspectorate calls on school leaders to support teachers’ coaching abilities and will be investigating methods to increase student motivation in the coming months. The report notes that innovation in education is often imposed without the necessary additional teacher training and without considering its effect on students.

Dutch student performance is just below the top achievers in Europe and ‘there is room for improvement’. The report also notes that the number of reports of violent behaviour in schools have increased by 20%, possibly because of increased media attention for bullying.

Bags of money

The paper quotes VVD MP Karin Straus as saying that ‘years have gone by and many millions have been spent but still education hasn’t improved. There are too many teachers who can’t teach and many schools do not seem to care about the quality of what they are offering.’

According to Straus, schools should no longer receive ‘bags of money and sweet words’. The MP thinks students should be challenged more and teachers’ abilities tested more rigorously, the paper writes.

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