The new cabinet does not consider combating segregation in schools to be a priority, education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt says in an interview with the Volkskrant on Monday.
‘It is all about quality. White or black is less important,’ the minister told the paper. ‘It is good if people from different backgrounds meet. But for me, as a minister, working against segregation is not an aim in itself.’
Projects which are currently under way to try to reduce segregation in schools will continue but are no longer all-important, the minister said.
Freedom of education
In the Netherlands parents are free to send their children to whichever school they like, which has led to increasing segregation in poorer areas where most immigrants are concentrated.
The Telegraaf reports on Monday that Amsterdam borough council West is forcing parents to put their children in a local school, based on their postcode. The aim is to make sure schools mirror the make-up of the local population.
The Netherlands has at least 300 schools where the overwhelming majority of pupils have an ethnic minority background.
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