Dutch education going downhill

, Comments 12 comments

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

3 Comments To This Article

  • arjan o posted:

    on 15th June 2011, 13:49:01 - Reply

    Denny clearly had some negative experiences in the South in the 40-es and is probably now slowly dementing. Overall The Netherlands is far more international and developed than most of the US or UK for that matter. (both countries I lived in for years). The educational issue that is described here is a serious one and indeed could relate to the streaming, yet most likely more to the overall drop in standards in Gymnasium and Atheneum (VWO schools). It is there where the scientific and cultural top of the country is educated, a system relatively akin to the German one where standards apperently have dropped less.
  • denny posted:

    on 15th June 2011, 13:24:23 - Reply

    That's a no brainer!!! put your best dumb blond wig on and come visit. The only thing is the dutch are ruthless when it comes to money and they will tear you apart to the rest of us it's ripping off til you pay out your teeth. That's all the dutch care about is money. You go to any department store outside of Amsterdam, and they hire mostly kids who can't speak english and the girls already have a child at 18. Something you see in the south in the 40's
  • Joey posted:

    on 7th June 2011, 17:25:45 - Reply

    I´m surprised that only now such results have been reported, and before that everything was just mindlessly accepted. It was just a matter of time. Such a reductionist system used to determine the fates of their children at twelve years old, forcing them to make extra efforts to reach one or two points more if they want to reach a "higher" category was doomed to fail. It is really discouraging when kids are compartmentalized into predefined categories. Education has to be motivating. I personally know brilliant people that only got MAVO/MBO, and limited their careers, skills, and perspectives. Hopefully now will the system wake up and try to do it better.