March 16, 2019

Lack of Funding in Education Leads to a Nationwide Strike

By AISHWARYA KOTTAPURATH

On Friday, March 15, students, teachers, and professors around the Netherlands went on a nationwide strike and protested in The Hague to demand the reversal of budget cuts for, and more investment in, education. The strike asks that the government invest €4 billion into the education sector in order to reduce teachers’ workload as well as improve their wages. According to Dutch Review, this was “the first time in the Netherlands that the entire education sector [ground] to a stop.”

Dorien Konig, the director of general education union AOb, explained to the NL Times that the problem is due to the insufficient investment in education: low wages make it increasingly difficult to find new teachers, which in turn increases the workload of existing teachers. Joris Boon, a secondary school teacher who was at the Hague with a sign that said “Les(s) = More”, stated that a better work environment will help him plan his lessons better. He said, “Now, I have one hour per 2 months to prepare lessons for my students. All my other hours are going to other work, the workload is just too much.”

There were also many university students at the strike. Students from Wageningen University’s student political party VeSte said that they came because “over the last decade, the funding per student has only gone down and down. Teachers are doing their best, but the pressure for them is enormous and it is unfair.”

 

Our video coverage includes more interviews and insight into this pertinent issue.

The Strike in Numbers

1 +
Educators

gathered in the centre of Den Haag

1
primary schools closed
1 bn
increase in funding requested

Shuka Ishikawa / The Amsterdammer

Shuka Ishikawa / The Amsterdammer
Shuka Ishikawa / The Amsterdammer

Around 35,000 to 40,000 educators gathered in the center of Den Haag this Friday, March 15, as a part of the nationwide strike to protest against the lack of funding for education.

Shuka Ishikawa / The Amsterdammer
Shuka Ishikawa / The Amsterdammer

Video (in Dutch) Promoting the Strike