School and Education in Netherlands


Compulsory schooling and school differentiation according to social backgrounds were established by the Education Act of 1801 and 1806. The state financed public schools, while the private depended on individual funds. The church community was given the right in 1857 to organize education within certain limits. The private, mostly Christian schools were still ineligible for state support; only in 1917 did the principle prevail that all schools should be treated equally. About two-thirds of all students attend (1999) in private schools.

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The period 1920–80 was characterized by expansion and democratization. In 1968, mainly the current system was introduced, which was partly revised in 1981. More than 95% of all children start the two-year preschool at the age of four. It can be considered as an integral part of compulsory school, which starts at age 6 and ends with standard exams at age 11. After a one- or two-year school where all students follow a common curriculum, different secondary education programs, varying from 3 or 4-year vocational preparatory schools (Lager vocational education, LBO, and apprenticeship) over the 4 and 5-year general preparatory schools Middelbaar wereld continugezet education (MAVO) and Higher general secondary education (MAVO)HAVO) to the 6-year university preparatory school Voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs (VWO). From 1998, the school system has begun to be revised; new topics are introduced, topics are merged. Four lines are introduced within VWO and HAVO at the same time as MAVO disappears. Instead of as previously total freedom of choice, a common part, a line-adapted part and a free part are introduced in the subject choice. Over 90% of all 16-year-olds participate in education, of which 1/3 in general and 2/3 in vocational schools. LBO is usually followed by apprenticeship, completed MAVO by apprenticeship or 3-year administrative-financial education. The HAVO degree qualifies for higher education. The university and university programs are separate, and the VWO degree is required for entry into the latter. 1/3 of all 18-year-olds continue to study, and they distribute equally to colleges and universities.

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Amsterdam (Infrastructure)

Despite its unfavorable location, Amsterdam has the world’s 17th largest port, which is mainly used for transit goods. The access to resp. The North Sea and the Rhine take place along the canals The North Sea Canal from 1876 and the Amsterdam-Rijn Canal from 1952. The airport Schiphol SV for the city is from 1926 and among Europe’s largest.

The city’s metro system with east line, ring line and from 2011 a north-south line is also designed for bicycles. This helps to strengthen Amsterdam’s position as one of the world’s most bicycle – friendly cities. The north-south line will contribute to a social renewal of Amsterdam Nord, one of the city’s outer districts with many young unemployed.

Amsterdam (History)

In 1275 a town is mentioned for the first time at “Amsteldamme”, the dam with a lock over the river Amstel. It was a small fishing village and a trading post at the estuary near the then sea bay Zuidersøen, now IJsselmeer, and the lock was where the National Monument is today. It was active in the Baltic Sea trade and later also in the transit trade between the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. In the 1400’s, a city wall and new neighborhoods were built along the canals that served for drainage and transportation.

The Calvinist Reformation and image storm reached Amsterdam in 1566, which, however, due to trade interests, did not join the religiously and politically motivated Dutch revolt against Spain until 1578. Also later, the city’s peace policy led to conflicts with the rest of the Netherlands and the princely house Oranje.

When Antwerp was conquered by the Spaniards in 1585, Amsterdam took over its leading position in world trade, the center of which had moved from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. The population of 30,000 in the 1500’s, rose and in 1660 reached 200,000. Protestants expelled from the southern Netherlands by the Spaniards, and Jews from Portugal emigrated in large numbers to Amsterdam, where they utilized their competence and capital, among other things. in the diamond industry. The widespread freedom of religion and the press gave the city a reputation for tolerance, which, however, had its limits: For example, the philosophers Grotius and Spinoza were banished because of their opinions.

Through the Dutch East India Company (1602), the city gained a monopoly on trade with the colonies in Asia (now Indonesia). Amsterdam Bank, founded in 1609, made the city a financial and credit center, whose merchants and bankers provided loans to the whole of Europe – also to the Danish king. The political power lay with this merchant elite, who also invested large sums in canal projects, construction and art. However, there was also great poverty in parallel, which appears in Rembrandt’s paintings.

In the 1700’s, Amsterdam, as a trading city, was overtaken by London and Hamburg, without, however, being in absolute decline. Neither during the French occupation 1795-1813 nor in the new Dutch-Belgian kingdom 1815-30 did the city succeed in regaining its position.

Around 1870 a recovery set in thanks to the abolition of the colonial monopoly and the increased trade as a result of the German industrial revolution; The North Sea Canal was built, and the city gained access to the sea. The progress was reflected in extensive public construction (Rijksmuseum 1885, Concertgebouw 1888, Central Station 1889, the stock exchange 1903 and the Olympic Stadium 1928). Foresighted urban planning and extensive social housing construction characterized the city’s new expansion (1880: 300,000 inhabitants, 1900: 500,000, 1940: 800,000, 1953: 872,428, the highest population so far).

During the German occupation 1940-45, most of the city’s Jews perished, approx. 70,000, in concentration camps. The famine winter of 1944-45 claimed 2,000 lives.

After the war, Amsterdam prospered despite the loss of the colonies and competition from the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam. In connection with the youth uprising, the city became a popular travel destination for young people from all over Europe, and it became known for its provos, which have since left their mark on the city.

Since the mid-1960’s, Amsterdam has housed guest workers from Turkey and Morocco. The city’s big challenge now (2006) is a continuous improvement of the new Dutch’s housing, school and work opportunities, as well as continuing to develop a mutual understanding between the city’s secular culture and the new inhabitants’ culture, eg the Islamic one. The history of Amsterdam is from the end of the 1500’s, the story of a city council tolerant and practical; an inspiration to the whole world.