On yer bike! Free public transport for kids idea derailed by cycling advocates :: Free rail passenger services for Takoradi, Tarkwa commuters :: Thrills @ Amakye Dede @ 45 Concert :: UTV Hosts Celebrities On New Year’s Day :: 2 past BoG Governors responsible for ‘rotten’ banking system – Joe Jackson :: Togolese Soldiers Intrusion Reported To Interpol :: GES announces reopening dates for Senior High Schools :: Socialists again call for action to ‘stop expats displacing Amsterdammers’ :: Kofi Annan''s Death; Ghana Flags To Fly At Half-Mast For One Week :: Let’s spend on the living not the dead – Palmer-Buckle to Ghanaians ::

Dutch News
Translink makes millions from unclaimed ov-chipkaart cash 9/6/2015

The company which runs the public transport smart card scheme is making millions of euros from cards which have expired, the AD says on Friday. The cards expire after five years and users have to pay €7.50 to buy a new one. In addition, people with anonymous cards have to send back the old card and provide bank account information to reclaim any money left on the card. Although an estimated €20m has gone unclaimed so far, Translink told the AD it has no idea how many people have not asked for their cash back or what has actually happened to the money. That will not be apparent until 2016, a spokeswoman told the paper. The money will be spent on passenger services ‘as usual’, the spokeswoman said. This year and next most of the 6.7 million ov-chipkaart cards currently in circulation will expire. Emptying the card by travelling is difficult because users need to start a bus journey with at least €4 on the card. Train travel requires a ‘deposit’ of €20. TransLink, which operate the ov-chipkaart system, says the cards have to be renewed every five years because they can become porous and break. In addition, the security technology embedded in the card needs updating. Passenger lobby group Rover is calling on Translink to come up with a better system for returning travellers’ cash.

Integration course success rate collapses after state pull-out

The number of people taking Dutch integration courses and compulsory language tests has fallen sharply since the end of 2012 when the government stopped all funding and left the issue up to the market, television current affairs show Nieuwsuur reported on Wednesday night. New arrivals now have to organise their own integration schemes and pay for lessons themselves, although they can borrow money from the student loan service Duo. Most non-EU nationals are required to go through the process although there are some exceptions. Government figures show that of the 10,641 people who were required by law to ‘integrate’ in 2013, just 17% had completed the programme by this July. Candidates have three years to pass the five necessary exams. Those who don’t can be fined. The Social Affairs ministry says it is too soon to conclude the new system is not working well because 83% of the 2013 starters still have a year to go to complete the process. The figures also show the pass rate has fallen from 77% in 2011 to 53% this year. Dutch Refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk points out that until recently the website explaining what newcomers have to do was only available in Dutch. The site has now been partly translated into stilted English. In addition, many refugees are not aware of what is expected of them, the organisation says. ‘This is hardly surprising given the bureaucratic nightmare you have to find your way through,’ Vluchtelingenwerk director Dorine Manson told the programme. ‘It is even difficult for our staff to understand.’ Amsterdam city council has gone against the official government line and set up its own programme. ‘This is a vulnerable group… they are in a new country, sometimes they have been through traumas, they don’t speak the language and they have no network,’ alderman Simone Kukenheim said. ‘A website is not enough.’

Native Dutch twice as likely as minorities to be picked out of cv database

The native Dutch are twice as likely to be invited for a job interview via an online cv database than people with an ethnic minority background – be it Moroccan, Turkish, Polish or Surinamese, according to an experiment carried out for the social affairs ministry. Older people also face discrimination in applying for jobs, the research shows. The researchers placed 1,700 fake cvs in internet cv databases and monitored how often they were read and how often the candidates were invited for an interview. They concluded that ethnicity and age were key factors and that there was clear discrimination in both cases.

Dutch universities get tougher on master’s degree students

An increasing number of Dutch universities are rejecting prospective master’s degree students who don’t average scores of at least seven in their bachelor’s degree subjects, the Volkskrant says on Wednesday. Rotterdam School of Management, for example, has introduced a minimum bachelor pass rate for all subjects, the paper says. Students who wish to study politics at a higher level need an average score of seven in their bachelor degree papers, to write a motivational letter and to pass a test in English to win a place. The same applies to politics in Leiden and is being introduced for archaeology master’s degrees. The universities are able to introduce tougher entrance requirements because they no longer have to automatically admit students for master’s degrees at the same faculty where they studied for their bachelor’s. Education minister Jet Bussemaker hopes this will lead to the ‘right student being at the right place’ and reduce the drop-out rate. Standards ‘We attract good students from all over the world,’ a spokesman for Erasmus University told the paper. ‘They [foreign students] need to have an average grade of seven or pass the entrance test,’ the spokesman said. ‘We are now applying this to our own students. We are hoping to improve the quality of education further.’ ‘Some of our bachelor’s students are not good enough for our master’s,’ he told the paper. ‘The bachelor-master system does not mean that everyone will meet the standards to take a master’s degree. We have to get used to that here in the Netherlands and it is completely normal abroad.’

Copyright© Radio Recogin 2022 Designed by [ModernGhana.com