Randstad misses out on Education in Primary Schools students
A ‘technical problem’ in the Randstad conurbation this year prevented at least 75 senior secondary vocational education students from starting the PABO (Education in Primary Schools course). And this while the shortage of teachers will only increase in the next few years.
The entry requirements for the PABO have become far tougher over the last few years. This has resulted in a drop in the number of students. Senior secondary vocational education (MBO) students in particular have not applied for the course. To address this situation, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam will introduce a bridging year specially for MBO students.
Brushing up knowledge
In the bridging programme, the MBO students will be prepared for the PABO admission tests in geography, history and biology/physics & technology. The programme is intended mainly for MBO students who are not already trained as teaching assistants. At the end of their course, they can engage in a full-time 6 month bridging programme. The bridging year students will still be registered at their Regional Training Centres (ROCs), but will take the programme at the PABO teacher training centres. They will continue to receive their study grants during this period.
The NRC newspaper reports that a ‘technical problem’ prevented potential students from starting the PABO course. The problem lay in process of applying for the bridge year. When applying, applicants may not be in possession of an MBO diploma. When they finish their course, they should have waited before applying for their diploma. This is where it went wrong. Many MBO students only thought about the option of taking the bridge year after receiving their diploma, and others were simply proud that they had passed their MBO and wanted their diplomas, explains Sven de Langen, Rotterdam’s Councillor for Education.
Of the 72 MBO students who were interested in doing the PABO, 48 were unable to start. The Dutch National Student Association (ISO) calls this “a great shame”. Chairperson Rhea van der Dong says that “It is inconceivable that students are unable to continue their studies because of a bureaucratic mess, while they want to study and students are very much needed.” The ISO calls upon the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to take action so that dozens of students next year do not miss the boat again.
Ron Bormans, Board Chair of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Twittered that he finds it “inappropriate” that the “Ministry pushes the responsibility for this on the schools.” The universities of applied sciences are not in a position to change the law, he writes. The Ministry was not available for comment. CDA Member of Parliament, Anne Kuik, confirmed on Twitter that she will ask the Minister how this situation can be reversed.