After several national manifestations and strikes, followed by the regional protest actions in the North and North- West of the country, now teachers in primary education in the South of the Netherlands take over the baton and go on strike for better salaries and a lower workload on 13 April 2018 in Eindhoven and Sittard.

Nearly all schools are to be closed in the provinces of Brabant and Limburg. The strike is supported by many school boards and parents organisations.

The 3rd regional strike comes just after the launch of the yearly report of the Dutch Education Inspectorate, “the State of Education”. The report , issued on 11 April 2018, gives a rather pessimistic view on education, such as the drop of academic performances of pupils in the Netherlands. Although the Netherlands are still doing relatively well, performances have been decreasing steadily over the last 20 years. According to AOb ,this is due to, among other things,:

  • growing number of pupils with special needs in regular schools,
  • growing number of societal issues for which a school is asked to find solutions,
  • repeated changes within the system and curriculum, growing number of temporary and flexible contracts for teachers,
  • lack of appropriate funding allocation by autonomous school boards

AOb stresses that it leads to a growing workload, and to the fact that many teachers are leaving the profession. With salaries of primary education teachers lagging behind since many years, it has resulted in the actual shortages and is now clearly a real threat to the quality of education.

The first step to stop further degrading of the quality of education is to tackle the teacher shortages, by substantially raising their salaries and reducing workload together with the number of flexible contracts.”, stated AOb President, Liesbeth Verheggen.