Sidelines would like to apologise for returning to the subject of education yet again, but sometimes it is unavoidable. This time it is junior education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt who has excelled herself in an interview with Monday’s Trouw.

Van Bijsterveldt has special responsibility for secondary school education. It was she who got tough on schools last year for not giving pupils enough lessons, a crackdown which led to teacher fury and mass protests from school pupils.
This time round Van Bijsterveldt suggests that secondary schools should involve parents more. She says that schools should ask parents at the beginning of the year ‘and what job are you going to take upon yourself’. Of course, she adds, ‘I can’t make it compulsory, but as a citizen you have your obligations.’
You have to wonder whether Van Bijsterveldt has school-going children of her own. If she did, she’d know the last thing a 15-year-old wants is Mummy helping out in the canteen.
And would teachers really welcome the idea of parents hanging around ‘organising fringe activities’ as well? And what about the parents themselves?
According to other sections of this government they are supposed to be at work boosting the economy not being stay-at-homes. Back to the drawing board on this one, minister.

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