Image: Stream House of Representatives

Despite concerns, Slob persists: schools are open responsibly

Despite the increasing flow of reports about corona infections in primary schools and classes that will be without a teacher, outgoing education minister Arie Slob believes that schools are currently open in a responsible manner.

During the debate on the education budget – and already this afternoon on Twitter – Slob stuck to last week's OMT advice. It advised against extra measures for education 'in the interest of the development of children and young people'. At the same time, the minister acknowledged that the number of infections has since skyrocketed, resulting in many classes being sent home.

'It concerns quite large numbers in a very short time, a week ago it looked very different'

“It concerns quite large numbers in a very short time, because a week ago it looked very different. I find that quite serious and worrying, there is now an enormous pressure on schools again.” Slob indicated that the OMT will consider the developments in its next advice. It is as yet unclear when. Some experts have now suggested extending the Christmas holidays for primary school students.

Acute problems

The sharp increase in the number of infections, combined with the already acute teacher shortage, poses acute problems for many schools. The cabinet wants to keep the schools open, but due to the corona explosion, many students are still forced to sit at home temporarily. Newspaper reports and polls show that schools are big scale classes to send home.

With the urgency of the problems in schools, the two-day debate on the education budget feels a bit unreal. Referring to the formation talks for a new cabinet, coalition parties abstained from making any commitments about financial investments. To the frustration of opposition parties, who wondered what the purpose of the debate with the now ten-month-old caretaker education ministers was.

“What are we doing here tonight and tomorrow night if the answer to every proposal is: it's on the formation table?” grumbled SP MP Peter Kwint, who called the debate on Twitter the 'the most boring education budget' to which he was responsible. participated so far.


Perhaps the most striking was the white hoodie which D66 MPs Paul van Meenen and Jan Paternotte attracted to show their support for the wishes of the action group 'VSO to GVO', which wants secondary special education (VSO) to be transferred to specialized secondary education. VSO now falls under the collective labor agreement for primary education.

The message is arrived, but patience is still being tested. According to Slob, about 300 million euros is structurally needed for the entire operation and, moreover, considerably more VSO teachers would be needed because, thanks to the collective labor agreement for secondary education, they receive fewer lesson-related hours. And according to the minister, these are considerations for the next cabinet.

Read also: Primary school staff in particular got corona

More news