Dutch education going downhill
The level of Dutch primary and secondary education is falling, both in absolute terms and in relation to other developed countries, according to a report by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Analysis published on Monday.
In the long term, the bureau expects worsening education will affect the country’s economic performance, and cause a drop in gross national product. The falling standards are most apparent in maths in secondary education, but can also be measured in reading and science.
The most talented pupils are the biggest concern, the report says. Their performance consistently lags behind that of the best pupils in many other developed countries. At higher academic levels, the Dutch don’t enter the international top ten in any field.
The problem is most pronounced in primary schools. Pupils then catch up as they enter secondary school due to the early selection based on academic ability in the Dutch school system, the researchers conclude.
Extra spending isn’t necessarily the answer, the bureau says, but a better use of existing resources, with an emphasis on teaching quality.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide