Dutch minister is looking into possibility of raising obligatory education age
The Dutch minister of Education is exploring the possibility of raising the age until which schooling can be made obligatory for young people without a diploma. The possibility of a higher obligatory education age was suggested by a city councilor from Rotterdam earlier this year. According to the minister it would be a far-reaching measure, that requires prior investigation.
Minster wants to look into expected effects of the measure
In the Netherlands, the majority of youngsters that leave school
without a diploma are between the age of 18 and 23. Therefore
minister Marja van Bijsterveldt thinks raising the age until which
schooling would be made obligatory from 18 to 23 is an interesting
idea. She does however indicate that prior to taking such measures,
certain questions have to be answered:
- Is the measure proportional and cost-effective?
- How does the measure relate to national and international law and regulations?
- What are the organizational consequences?
Due to the demissionary status of the current cabinet a decision about the obligatory education age would have to be taken after the elections, by the next cabinet.
Dutch measures to cut school drop-out rates seem to be working
In comparison to other European countries, the Dutch have been relatively successful in cutting drop-out rates. The number of annual school drop-outs decreased from 15.4 percent in 2000 to 9.1 percent in 2011. That is a faster decline than the European average. The number of annual drop-outs is now 38.600 (season 2010-2011). The Dutch government wants to lower this number to 25.000 annual drop-outs by 2016.
Overview of existing measures
The Netherlands Institute for Social Research concludes that
Dutch policy measures are working. Measures that have been taken in
recent years are:
- Performance agreements in regional covenants with schools and other stakeholders
- Knowledge sharing meetings
- Extra facilities and care for troubled youth
- Introduction of obligatory qualification for the national labor market
- Improved insight in school attendance records
- Better study and career guidance