Schools told to improve Dutch and maths

Dutch school pupils are falling so far behind in terms of language and maths that they are disadvantaged when they go into further education, according to the government’s educational advisory council. The council warns that Dutch educational standards are losing ground internationally.

Education minister Maria van der Hoeven asked the council to look at school standards following complaints that teachers were spending less and less time on actual teaching.
The council said there were indications that standards were slipping. Pupils had poor vocabulary, were not good at grammar and could not put together a coherent argument, the report said. When it came to maths, children could not work with formulas or do arithmetic.
The situation was so serious that some universities were taking steps to boost standards. The Financieele Dagblad pointed out that maths students at Twente University of Technology have to take an entrance exam and attend a refresher course if they fail. And The Hague Hogeschool (polytechnic) has introduced a language course to teach students to speak properly following complaints during work experience placements.

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