Dutch schools get bad inspectors report

The Dutch education system is faced with serious and stubborn problems with far too many children failing to learn basic arithmetic, reading and writing skills, according to the annual school inspectors report. ‘The education system has a hard task ahead of it over the next few years,’ the report said.

Too many children were leaving school early and many others were failing to reach their proper potential. In addition, some 50% of schools for children with special needs had failed to reach proper standards and were under extra supervision, the report stated.
It is time that schools stopped pointing the finger at politicians, chief inspector Jan Teuwen told the Volkskrant. One school books far better results than another school with a similar population and it was time school boards took responsibility, he said.
Education minister Ronald Plasterk said it was unacceptable that so many schools were considered to be weak. ‘If the Netherlands wants to be a knowledge-based economy, a pass grade is not good enough,’ he told ANP.
Meanwhile, the OECD said on Tuesday that too many children in the Netherlands were denied the chance to go on to higher education – particularly those from working class or immigrant families. Children sent to vocational training schools (vmbo) had little opportunity to break out of that system, the OECD said. Some 60% of Dutch children go to vmbo schools.

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