Netherlands Children and School
The happiest kids in the world?
Many parents in the Netherlands and also from other countries believe that child life in the Netherlands is the best in the world. Different reasons are given for this. Of course, whether someone is happy depends on what happiness means for you. Think about it: What makes you really happy?
Children in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands it is quite normal for mothers to work full time. The working hours and the time that is spent with the children are usually shared equally and fairly among parents. So the Dutch children get something from both parents. In Germany it is often different. A lot more women work part-time here and are at home the rest of the time. They also usually do more housework than their fathers. Not all of them, of course, but surveys and studies keep finding that. It’s a little different in the Netherlands.
How is it with you? Does your mom or dad work and is there a parent you spend more time with? And would you like to change that?
Time to be a child
In the Netherlands, compared to other countries, children go to school quite late and hardly leave the house before eight in the morning. That is why it is common in Dutch families to have an extensive breakfast together in the morning and start the day with the family.
Incidentally, it should be much better for the children to get up later, such demands are made again and again in Germany. When children are tired at school, there is a lot that is difficult for them to absorb. Quite logical, actually.
After school, there is no homework for any child under the age of ten and they have more time to play with their friends. They rarely do that at home, but rather at school, because most Dutch schools are all-day schools. School and fun should be linked and not be opposites. This educational policy aims to ensure that children keep learning fun.
The school system
In Germany, the school system is federally regulated. This means that the states determine their own educational policies. The school system in Baden-Württemberg is therefore a little different from that in Hesse, for example. It’s different in the Netherlands. No matter where you go to school, you will get the same lessons.
In addition, Dutch children go to school very early, namely when they are four years old. Compulsory schooling begins at the age of five and applies until the child turns 16. School enrollment is not celebrated in the Netherlands as it is in Germany, and there are no school cones either. Check act-test-centers to see schooling information in other European countries.
The long time at primary school in the Netherlands is particularly striking. This is because this lasts eight years. This school is also called the primary school.
The next stage in the school system follows, the Voortgezet onderwijs. This is secondary school. Before you can visit them, you have to take a final exam.
Although many people in the Netherlands do not belong to any religion, there are private schools that are orientated towards religious denominations. Only a third of the schools are public. But unlike us, you can easily choose which school you attend.
School all day
In the Netherlands the principle of all-day schools is very popular. The children come to class at 6:30, either go home briefly at noon or stay at school for lunch and then go back to class or take part in leisure activities until the afternoon. This is where they usually meet their friends. We also have more and more all-day schools.
Notes in the Netherlands
If you get a 1 in the Netherlands, there is no reason to be happy, because it is the worst grade. The best grade is a 10. That is an excellent achievement. A 9 would be a very good achievement. At the grammar school, the grades are just as they are with us: 0 points are the worst and 15 are the best you can get.
After primary school, the children decide which secondary school to choose: the pre-vocational, higher general or pre-academic secondary level. There is a fourth form for children with learning difficulties, which involves practical lessons.
The Caribbean islands of the Netherlands
Life on the Caribbean islands of the Netherlands is, as you can imagine, different from that in the European part of the country. The islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are so-called “special parishes” of the Netherlands.
St. Eustatius, also known as the “Golden Rock”, is similar to the Netherlands in areas such as the education system and language, but life is completely different. Most of the people live from tourism, more precisely from ecotourism. Care is taken to ensure that the environment and the residents do not suffer from tourism. This is to prevent environmental pollution and deterioration in nature.
On the other two islands, Bonaire and Saba, too, people earn their living with sustainable tourism. The islands are particularly popular with divers.