Schools minister Dennis Wiersma is allocating an extra €108 million a year over the next two years to boost reading, writing and arithmetic skills at primary schools.
The new money comes on top of the €448 million already set aside to improve basic skills, and follows school inspectors’ concerns that half the children leaving primary school have only attained minimal literacy and maths levels.
The new money means more schools and therefore more children can be helped, Wiersma said. ‘It is of the utmost importance that we raise the level,’ he said. ‘And that needs to happen quickly.’
In total, 2,200 schools and 650,000 children up to the age of 12 can benefit from the scheme, the education ministry said.
The funding will be allocated to schools on the basis of school inspectorate results and figures provided by statistics agency CBS. Those selected will get €500 per pupil per year to use on extra coaching, smaller classes and teacher training.
Some of the money will also go on good citizenship classes and on IT skills.
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