Education minister wants more focus on ‘citizenship’ at school

The Dutch cabinet wants schools to focus more on ‘citizenship’, reports broadcaster NOS on Tuesday.

Arie Slob, education minister and a member of the ChristenUnie party, has written to MPs to say the subject needs ‘further strengthening’.

He cited the results of an international study which showed that Dutch children had slightly lower levels of knowledge about their society than ‘comparable countries’, reports the NOS.

The study tested secondary schoolchildren in 24 countries and their knowledge of democracy, social norms, social participation and identity. Dutch schoolchildren met the international average but were less aware on average than contemporaries in Flemish-speaking Belgium and Scandinavian countries.

Slob said in the letter that this is ‘not reassuring’ and wants to make it clearer how schools should deal with issues of citizenship – a subject that is part of the new government’s manifesto.