Eindhoven news has already brought to light in July about the new proposal of SALTO group of schools. That is a new international section in one of SALTO school locations. The kindergarten groups start in its Reigerlaan campus coming January. While the other classes or groups would commence next August.
The school invited internationals for a presentation to brief them about their new plan. The well planned evening started with a presentation on the school system in the Netherlands. Then the director of internationalisation Geert Simons addressed the parents gathered. Simons stressed the importance of home language together with Dutch and English. Hanneke Hermans, the Vice-principal of another SALTO school (St@rtbaan) also presented about the ongoing research to enable St@rtbaan joining the internationalisation initiative.
The sports hall where the presentation happened was packed with people. The school proudly announced that they received about 80 requests for admission. Eindhoven News gathered the thoughts of parents present in the hall. Many were excited, some sceptical, some relieved while some others were uncertain. The Director, Simons states “With our new multilingual primary school concept we believe to have found an inspiring balance between traditional international education and Dutch education”.
Features of the new international program
The motto of SALTO schools is laying the foundations to learn for life.
It is a multilingual school. Mother tongue education is an important feature of the programme. It is a regular public school that offers education in English and Dutch together with a focus on home language. Dutch would be the language of instruction for Math and physical education. While other subjects would be taught in English. Except for other languages of course! The notable aspect is that the school has the chance to organize tests and exams in both Dutch and English.
The goal of the internationalisation initiative
Most international families have one thing in common. That is they do not know whether they are going to call the Netherlands their home or leave in a few years. So they are always ruminating the choice between an international school and a Dutch public school. The programme prepares the international child for all possible scenarios. The School documents its goal as:
When graduating from our school we want to have helped our students in their development of becoming bilingual/multilingual children for whom both choices are open: continuing at a regular Dutch secondary school or continuing at an international secondary school.
Programme fee and start dates
The school is charging a fee of 350 euros per year. The new programme would start in January for the youngest (group 1 and group 2). However, the program is expected to be in full swing from August next year. The ambitious programme has stirred a lot of interest among the internationals. Many internationals who attended the programme were in awe about the school fee since the program offers the best of both worlds.
However, a few parents raised concerns on how the school could afford quality international level education with such low fees. The director listened to their concerns and explained that since Salto is a Dutch public school, the government pays for the buildings, facilities and teachers salaries. Moreover, the class size is comparable to that of Dutch schools. Simons reassured that all of these reasons enable the school to make this reasonable fee a reality.
A few parents wrote to Eindhoven News to find out answers for a question that apparently haunts them. Eindhoven news found that the common thread in the questions was the concern whether the programme would continue.
The typical questions were ” would the school discontinue the international programme for some reason? In case that happens, the parents fear that they would be forced to go to local Dutch schools.
Eindhoven News contacted the director of internationalisation Geert Simons regarding this. Simons declared “We are only thinking of expanding this programme and there is no question of discontinuing. We expect to break even in three years. So please trust us and together we can build a better future”.
For Eindhoven News: Beena Arunraj