Parties from left to right in the House of Representatives are concerned about the quality of the teaching program at the teacher training college, the college education to become a teacher or master, and the language poverty among teacher training students. Minister of Education Dijkgraaf believes that the level of basic skills should be beyond any doubt, both in teacher training programs and in schools.
On Monday it was revealed that students are increasingly coming to the teacher training college with a language level that is too low. Universities of applied sciences try to catch up with those who lag behind, but not everyone succeeds. There is an urgent need to pay more attention to language in the overcrowded curriculum, but any adjustment is ‘complex’. So the teachers of the future should continue their education after their teacher training, is the advice of their teachers.
The PvdA wants to invest heavily in teacher training and counter fragmentation in PABO education by setting up a National Academy for teachers, MP Habtamu de Hoop said in a response. “The quality of education does not improve by lowering the standards. As far as the PvdA is concerned, we are therefore not going to mess with powers or requirements for teacher training. That bar should be raised, not lowered.”
The largest opposition party, the PVV, notes that language skills have now reached ‘third world level’ and that politicians ‘a little shrug their shoulders, no matter how loudly the PVV warns’. MP Harm Beertema: ,,They are directly confronted with it at the teacher training colleges. The aspiring teachers do not master their own language enough, let alone bring their pupils up to standard. It is a complete mystery that NVAO (the quality watchdog, ed.) still considers the level sufficient based on the models.”
According to Beertema, it is also striking that the problems are not seen in conjunction. “The teacher training colleges are all messing around with their own solutions, without any structure or commonality. The disaster is complete. And the solution further away than ever. Education is not about to collapse, it has collapsed.”
Government party D66 also believes that ‘we must turn the tide’. MP Paul van Meenen: “D66 shares the concerns of the teacher trainers. Students are having more and more difficulty with basic skills and this is reflected throughout education. Mathematics and language are important for the rest of your life. That is why we have made firm agreements in the coalition agreement to find the way up again.” As far as D66 is concerned, this does not stop when students start with the PABO. “There, too, there must be more room for language and arithmetic and less for endless reflection reports.”
Minister Dijkgraaf says that he finds the signal from the Education Council and the reactions of the teacher trainers ‘worrying’. Good command of language and arithmetic is the basis of your knowledge and ability. Certainly for prospective teachers, who later have to teach language and arithmetic to students themselves. The level of these subjects must be beyond any doubt, both in teacher training and at the school itself.”
“The bar has to be raised,” says the minister himself. “That is why last month, together with Minister Wiersma, I made agreements with teacher training colleges, teachers and schools in a work plan. The competence requirements for teachers are being scrutinized. I also want schools, teachers and study programs to work together better, both nationally and regionally.”
The level of knowledge and the level of the tests on teacher training courses are regularly reviewed, the minister emphasizes. ,,And I will talk to the teacher training colleges in higher vocational education about what they need to deliver qualified teachers. We also want teachers to continue to develop after graduation.”
The competence requirements for teachers are being scrutinized. I also want schools, teachers and study programs to work together better, both nationally and regionally
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