The State of Education in the Netherlands
The Dutch Inspectorate of Education reports yearly about the state of education.
The Inspectorate of Education monitors the latest developments at Dutch schools. This year's edition of ‘The State of Education’marks the 199th report on the successes and areas for improvement in Dutch education.
The document confirms the high quality of education in the Netherlands. Children in this country have good reading and maths skills, and a growing number of pupils are passing their final exams. Graduates are generally quick to find employment. The initial effects of the new Education Act for Children with Special Needs are also becoming visible. For example, a growing number of pupils are enrolling in regular schools. This is due to the financial choices made by educational networks. Unfortunately, pupils' interests do not always come first, and dropout rates remain too high.
As we have also learned, children do not always feel safe at school, while some schools are failing to prevent unpleasant situations.
Most importantly, though, pupils are not always given the same opportunities. The divide is growing, and parents' level of education plays an increasing role in the school recommendation process, secondary education and the opportunities for further study. Paul would be a good case in point: Paul has highly educated parents. As a result, he is more likely to be recommended a higher education level when leaving primary school. Although his friend Tim is just as smart, his parents have a lower level of education. Tim runs a greater risk of being recommended a lower education level. This is due to the fact that teachers subconsciously expect boys like Paul to do better at school, and Paul’s parents are more likely to choose a better school and help their son do his homework or prepare for exams. As a result, Paul is likely to go to university, eventually, whereas Tim runs the risk of ending up at a school that does not reflect his capabilities.
In our view, children with the same talents should have the same opportunities. In order to achieve this goal, we must ensure that choices are not made for the wrong reasons, and we must minimise excessive differences between the quality of individual schools. Schools, parents, pupils, supervisory bodies and policy makers can make this happen by working together. After all: the Netherlands offers high-quality education, which should benefit all pupils equally.
To find out more about the state of education, visit our website.