Education Minister Dennis Wiersma visited the Stedelijk College on the Oude Bossche Baan in Eindhoven on Monday. The secondary school is one of the pioneers in the Netherlands when it comes to practice-oriented vmbo education.
Whether students at this Eindhoven-based school want to become cooks, fashion designers, or make-up artists, the focus here is on actually doing things. The more practical experience the students gain, the better they know what they want, and the better they will be able to choose the next course, is the idea.
“It is nice that we are allowed to do things and not just sit still on a chair. We won’t be doing that when we actually start working,” says one of the students from Stedelijk College
Labor market’s need for doers
This approach to education was music to Minister Dennis Wiersma’s ears. He wants more practical classes in vmbo, among other things, because the labour market is in great need of ‘doers’. Wiersma visited a lesson in progress and talked to the pupils.
VMBO is not inferior
“VMBO is seen as inferior to HAVO or VWO. I want to get rid of that. We’re actually missing people who can work with their hands.” says Dennis Wiersma, Minister of Education
Future of vocational education
From 2024 onwards, it will be compulsory for every VMBO school to offer practical programmes. Not only for framework pupils but especially for all vmbo pupils. If it is up to the Stedelijk College and the minister, this principle will also be rolled out at the havo and vwo levels.
Translated by : Anitha Sevugan