The education sector is going into a big strike today and tomorrow, as almost half of all primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands are closing their doors, reports RTL Nieuws. There will be protests and marches happening in most major cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague.
“In 2020, 55,000 pupils in primary education do not have a teacher in front of the class and if we do nothing, this number will increase to nearly 240,000 pupils in 2028,” said the General Education Union (AOb).
More than 4000 schools close today
According to official figures released by the AOb, 4159 schools will be closed today. Teachers and other workers in the education sector are not going to be going in for their jobs today and tomorrow.
This “education crisis” has been going on for a while where the government is not investing enough money into the sector for wages, and the workload is too heavy to carry for the current teachers. Since 2017, the education sector has had 10 major strikes (including the ongoing one) where people did not turn up for their jobs, reports RTL Nieuws.
Education Minister Arie Slob will be visiting schools in Zwolle, Oosterbeek, Rhoon, and Reeuwijk today to discuss this teacher shortage.
Right now, the government is willing to spend a total of 895 million euros in primary education, reports RTL Nieuws. They report the distribution as 700 million for lowering the workload and increasing wages. 38 million is allocated for “regional approach” in 2020 and 2021 and 78 million for “side intake”. They will be utilizing 74 million for training new teachers and 5 million for “teaching assistants going to the PABO”.
However, primary school teachers want 560 million euros more invested so as to have the same wages as their high school counterparts.
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