Talented school pupils need more challenges: minister

The cabinet is urging schools to do more to challenge talented pupils rather than just focus on the average child, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The paper on Monday published an article by junior education minister Sander Dekker in which he said schools must ensure talented pupils make the most of their skills.

‘We have to stop approaching education as an educational process, in which the average pupil sets the standard and everyone else follows the same programme,’ the minister said.


The minister said he had been shocked at the way Dutch high-flyers perform less well than those in surrounding countries. ‘Above average pupils are often left to get on with it,’ he said. This means they go on to under-perform in higher education as well.

The minister said he wants to introduce a new ‘cum-laude’ diploma for the best pupils which would give them access to more university places and attract bursaries from companies.

He also wants to make it possible for high-fliers to take their pre-university VWO exams after five rather than six years.

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