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The Dutch educational system

There are a number of things you should know about the Dutch educational system, because they make it easier for you to co-operate with Dutch secondary schools. You can find the information on:


Types of schools

Until 1920 only public schools were paid by the government. Public schools were and are neutral to religious and social items. Before 1920 some parents wanted to send their children to a school where the education was based on religious (= Christian) convictions. These schools existed, but the parents had to pay everything themselves: building, teachers, books etc.

After 1920 both types of schools had the same financial rights. This means that there are now two types of schools paid by the government, with the same curriculum and the same examinations: public schools (= owned by the government) and privately owned schools (= owned by a group of parents). About 60% of the schools are privately owned schools nowadays. There are many Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and even neutral schools.

What does it mean in practice, when a school states to be a Christian (Protestant) school? As said before, the curriculum and the examination is the same. The differences appear when you look at the people who work in that school. In Gomarus College all teachers and pupils are believing Christians, who want to live and work according to the Bible. This has its effects on the way they treat each other, the way they teach certain subjects and the way they choose their international partners for exchanges and excursions.