Since they reopened last week, driving schools are working under great pressure. Since Monday, the CBR opened up for driving exams. However, the pressure is so great that driving schools have trouble getting through it.
They also experience this at driving school Jan Heezen. That’s what Karin Poulissen, an employee at the driving school, says. “I don’t know how long I’ve been on the line at the CBR, but we can’t get through,” she says.
Since they are open again, it is busy at the driving school from Aalst. “We haven’t been able to do anything for two months. The exams that could not take place in the past weeks, now have priority at the CBR. Only then will there be room for new applications.”
This also means that some students who will be able to take an exam in the near future will drop out for the time being. “Yes, we have experience that,” Poulissen says. “We’ve to weigh up students, who would normally be able to take an exam. Should they now continue with lessons to maintain and refine their skills, or should they stop for a while? Everyone makes their own decision, but there are also students who temporarily has stopped taking lessons for that reason”.
According to Paulissen, there are of course many enthusiastic students. “They’re very happy that they can start again”. They’re not worried about the 1.5 metre rule that can’t be maintained in the teaching car. “We’ve had a number of phone calls from parents about the measures we’re taking, but they’re also reassured quite quickly.”
However, these measures are not very comprehensive… “The cars are cleaned as a student finishes lessons. Face masks are not obligatory but are always present in the car. It’s up to the instructors and the students to decide if they use them.”
“At exams, when someone from the CBR is present, face masks are mandatory. In addition, it is important that both student and instructor clearly indicate when he or she has a cold or has something else.”. Poulissen hopes that in a couple of weeks the pressure would return to normal. “By that time, I hope the CBR will have everything back on track”, she says.
Although the CBR does not have any specific figures from Eindhoven, a spokesperson does confirm that the pressure on the organisation is enormous. “Since last week, we started with theory exams and as of today we’re taking the practical exams. But we do this in a regulated form, in order to protect the students but also our staff”.
In addition, the demand for exams is much higher than normal. “Normally, we get about 4,000 applications for driving exams a day. But because we have been closed since 16 March, there are about 300,000 students who have not been able to take a practical exam. They all want an appointment now, and that makes sense. But to bring it all back to the right track, it’s a huge job.”
The CBR is taking its time to get the job done. “We’ve the ambition to have everyone who should have passed their exams by now, to take exams in the coming ten weeks,” says the spokesperson.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.