Cabinet Wants to Provide more Freedom to Found Schools
THE HAGUE, 16/07/13 - Education State Secretary Sander Dekker wants to make it easier for private parties to set up a school.
Currently, a new school can only be founded if it matches a religion or ideology. Dekker wants to get rid of this constraint. “Schools should form a better reflection of the society.”
Someone who wants to set up a school paying extra attention to special talents or to ICT, for example, should be able to do so, in Dekker’s view. There will have to be sufficient pupils for such a school, and the quality must be in order, he said in NRC Handelsblad newspaper.
Since 1917, parents have had the right to set up a school themselves that fits in with their ideology. They receive subsidies for this. According to Dekker, a freshening-up of this system is necessary. The Constitution does not need to be amended, he says - the rules are enshrined in Article 23 - but the interpretation does need to be translated for the current period.
The cabinet also wants to ban home education, according to a letter sent by Dekker to the Lower House. Currently, parents can receive exemption from compulsory school attendance if none of the schools in their area match their ideological orientation.
Dekker considers it undesirable for children to grow up without having contact with their peers as a result. He also has difficulties with the fact that there is no form of control of home education whatever.