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Dutch News
Education Levels Unacceptably Low+ 1/31/2007
31 January 2007

AMSTERDAM — The Second Chamber of the Parliament has begun an investigation into the new initiatives in the public education introduced in the past twenty years, such as spaces for self-learning, preparatory secondary vocational training (vmbo) and the “new learning” plan.

The reason to start the investigation are last week’s student protests, De Volkskrant reports. The students demanded more learning ours and more opportunities for the competent teachers to share their expert knowledge.

In the words of a D66 spokesperson, “education has reached an unacceptably low level”.

Initiated by the Labour Party (PvdA), the first investigation will begin on Thursday this week. One of the questions is why the reformed educational system still leaves the parents, the teachers and the students unsatisfied.

For the PvdA, the investigation may reap unpleasant results, as most of the reforms had been led by its fellow party-members – Jacques Wallage, Karin Adelmund, Tineke Netelenbos, and Jo Ritzen.

The parliamentary investigation will also focus on the teachers’ position at schools and the reasons for the continuing shortage of teachers in most subjects.

Besides the PvdA, the Socialist Party (SP), the Party for Freedom (de Partij voor de Vrijheid), the Green Left Party (GroenLinks) and the Democrats-66 (D66) – a total of 77 parliamentarians – supported the investigation initiative.

The Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Christian Union (ChristenUnie) said they saw no added value in yet another investigation and evaluation of the past. They spoke for immediate problem solving instead.

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