Students at HBO colleges need an intermediary year to learn how to read and write properly according to Doekle Terpstra, chairman of the HBO college association. Terpstra was reacting to the news that 68% of trainee teachers failed a special language test.
The test was pitched to the level of first year HAVO high school students. Terpstra said a broad cross section of college first-years would be tested in September to find out if the problem applied across the board.
Education minister Maria van der Hoeven said the problem had to be tackled at the roots. ‘We have to bring primary and secondary schools up to scratch,’ she told the Volkskrant. She said the failure rate was very bad, but not surprising.
Sjoerd Slagter, chairman of the secondary school association, said schools had been directed to focus on comprehension and reading in recent years. ‘If the priorities shift and we have to do more on spelling and grammar, that can be achieved very quickly,’ the Volkskrant quoted him as saying.
Last September it emerged that 48% of a trainee teachers failed a simple arithmetic test.
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