Close

Public School for kids without dutch in Utrecht

Hoi Everybody...

I need help to get info about school for my kids. I really want them to go to public school in Utrecht/Maarssen but their dutch is zero but they speak English good enough. Now they still live in Indonesia and I'm planning to bring them here next year. My boys is now 8yo and 11yo. Is there anyone who can help me about this?

Thank you so much for the info...really appreciate it..

Groetjes,
Angela

How long you are willing to stay in the Netherlands?

My partner is dutch so I'm planning to stay here as long as I can...now I got 5years visa but I'm planning to extend it later as long as I can.

Thanks..

If you want to enroll your kids in public schools, then you cant avoid to send them to a Dutch school. They have to learn Dutch. They need it anyway. Not only for school but also for socializing, clubs and to adept smooth and easier in their new country.
Kids are very quick learners specially on a new language so you don't have to worry about that.

Maybe you can make a start to let them some words or phrases while they are still in their home country. Let them try so see some Dutch speaking cartoons and films on DVD if possible. Maybe there are some courses special for kids to start with

ok thanks for the info...=)

Kids are amazing; they'll soon pick up Dutch, don't worry about it.  Dutch schools are used to integrating non-Dutch kids into the school system.  My experience is that it's Mums and Dads who have bigger problems with the language.

have you tried the private schools?[b] I would not recommend[/b] to put your kids in public schools in Utrecht, they are awful, no good education.

rinav :

have you tried the private schools? I would not recommend to put your kids in public schools in Utrecht, they are awful, no good education.

Interesting; I guess there are good and bad everywhere.  What were the problems you experienced?

oh, if I would post here the stories about  how sucks the dutch educational system in public schools, it will become a very sad novel or PhD, since I have teaching experience (20 years), you could rely on my expertise.

When I was 8 I moved to Ireland from Russia, and was enrolled in a normal public school. I had no knowledge of English before that, but was able to pick it up quickly. My school also offered extra English classes for foreign students.

My experience wasn't in NL but I think the concept exactly the same. Kids at that age take in everything like a sponge and will be able to pick up Dutch very quickly :) Maybe you can ask the schools you are considering if they have offer any help to foreign students as well.

The dutch educational system is totally different from other EU-countries, especially for kids outside EU. The families from Eastern Europe who relocates to the Netherlands expereince the most problems with their kids at school. For foreigners in Holland established the "international schakelklassen" - "transition classes", where the kids of all ages received additional language lessons, beside following the school subjects. It sound great on paper, but the reality is different. The school teachers at those schools for foreigners are mainly without appropriate knowledge and experience. The level of those schools only suitable for MBO students.

rinav :

.... The level of those schools only suitable for MBO students.

So, what's the problem with an MBO education?

a good question, :/  but before I'll answer you, may I ask you a private question regarding your education?

rinav :

a good question, :/  but before I'll answer you, may I ask you a private question regarding your education?

Of course.

rinav :

The families from Eastern Europe who relocates to the Netherlands expereince the most problems with their kids at school.

What kind of troubles they are facing?
And why just only them?

Didn't quite understand your comment about only suitable for MBO students.
According to my knowledge you can become only a teacher when you have your HBO diploma.

I think the quality of the schoolsystem is more or less subjective. Everywhere you have good and bad, even in the Netherlands. But in general the system is from a high quality and standards.
Now, if I compare all this together the system in Jordan, where I currently live, than I can say that Jordan can't compare with the Dutch system. It's far behind but slowly it will improve.

rinav :

a good question, :/  but before I'll answer you, may I ask you a private question regarding your education?

I answered your question; so, what's the problem with an MBO education? :)

Cynic :
rinav :

a good question, :/  but before I'll answer you, may I ask you a private question regarding your education?

I answered your question; so, what's the problem with an MBO education? :)

I'm not the poster you are replying to, but I have my own views on this.

There is nothing wrong with an MBO education, as long as it was your choice to go in that direction. From what I understand, with an MBO education you cannot go straight to university (WO), and must find other ways (for example through HBO) which add up to extra years and extra tuition costs. If a student is not interested in going to university, then MBO is fine.

However, if a student does want to go to university, it seems unfair that they will not even be given an opportunity to do so (without the extra years and costs).

nataneu :
Cynic :
rinav :

a good question, :/  but before I'll answer you, may I ask you a private question regarding your education?

I answered your question; so, what's the problem with an MBO education? :)

I'm not the poster you are replying to, but I have my own views on this.

There is nothing wrong with an MBO education, as long as it was your choice to go in that direction. From what I understand, with an MBO education you cannot go straight to university (WO), and must find other ways (for example through HBO) which add up to extra years and extra tuition costs. If a student is not interested in going to university, then MBO is fine.

However, if a student does want to go to university, it seems unfair that they will not even be given an opportunity to do so (without the extra years and costs).

Thank you - I think you are correct in your assumption.  My understanding (and this is going back a few years now), is that the allocation is based on testing at 12-years old, but if a parent thinks their child can do better and wants their child to go to HAVO, or VWO, then they can request it and their child will go to the bridging class for 12-months and then get re-tested.  Not everyone is suited to a University education.

Cynic :

Thank you - I think you are correct in your assumption.  My understanding (and this is going back a few years now), is that the allocation is based on testing at 12-years old, but if a parent thinks their child can do better and wants their child to go to HAVO, or VWO, then they can request it and their child will go to the bridging class for 12-months and then get re-tested.  Not everyone is suited to a University education.

My cousins were born here and experienced the testing at 12 years old. One of them did not score well enough for HAVO/VWO but managed to go to the bridging class you described. However, in her case it was not up to the parents to request this. The teachers had to be on board and agree that my cousin had  potential to do better, and only then was she accepted into the bridging class.

I think the biggest issue with this is for foreign students who come to the Netherlands at the age of 10-11. They then have very little time to learn enough Dutch to pass exams at a HAVO/VWO level, and must then go to MVO. The same concerns students who arrived when they were 13+. I agree that some people are not suited for a university education. But the opportunity should be there.

Having said that, I'm not sure what a good solution to this would be. In Ireland (I went to school there) we did not have different levels of schools, so regardless of what school you went to, you were eligible to apply to a university. This meant that you had plenty of time to improve your English enough to do well in exams.
I think perhaps being tested and "redistributed" to different school levels at 12 is too young. At that age it is not yet clear if a student is suited for university, and the students themselves do not yet understand the importance of the testing results.

nataneu :
Cynic :
rinav :

a good question, :/  but before I'll answer you, may I ask you a private question regarding your education?

I answered your question; so, what's the problem with an MBO education? :)

I'm not the poster you are replying to, but I have my own views on this.

There is nothing wrong with an MBO education, as long as it was your choice to go in that direction. From what I understand, with an MBO education you cannot go straight to university (WO), and must find other ways (for example through HBO) which add up to extra years and extra tuition costs. If a student is not interested in going to university, then MBO is fine.

However, if a student does want to go to university, it seems unfair that they will not even be given an opportunity to do so (without the extra years and costs).

BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :top:  :one  I couldn't give a better answer!

nataneu :
Cynic :

Thank you - I think you are correct in your assumption.  My understanding (and this is going back a few years now), is that the allocation is based on testing at 12-years old, but if a parent thinks their child can do better and wants their child to go to HAVO, or VWO, then they can request it and their child will go to the bridging class for 12-months and then get re-tested.  Not everyone is suited to a University education.

My cousins were born here and experienced the testing at 12 years old. One of them did not score well enough for HAVO/VWO but managed to go to the bridging class you described. However, in her case it was not up to the parents to request this. The teachers had to be on board and agree that my cousin had  potential to do better, and only then was she accepted into the bridging class.

I think the biggest issue with this is for foreign students who come to the Netherlands at the age of 10-11. They then have very little time to learn enough Dutch to pass exams at a HAVO/VWO level, and must then go to MVO. The same concerns students who arrived when they were 13+. I agree that some people are not suited for a university education. But the opportunity should be there.

Having said that, I'm not sure what a good solution to this would be. In Ireland (I went to school there) we did not have different levels of schools, so regardless of what school you went to, you were eligible to apply to a university. This meant that you had plenty of time to improve your English enough to do well in exams.
I think perhaps being tested and "redistributed" to different school levels at 12 is too young. At that age it is not yet clear if a student is suited for university, and the students themselves do not yet understand the importance of the testing results.

Many thanks for your opinion  :top: , you are absolutely right, this is exactly why I think that the dutch educational systems sucks!!! Because: "that some people are not suited for a university education. But the opportunity should be there."

In Eastern Europe is the same educational system as in Ireland, which give the equal opportunity to all pupils\ students to attend to the HBO\University or to get a High degree. In Holland not only the foreign students face the difficulties, but the local dutch student s as well.

Primadonna :
rinav :

The families from Eastern Europe who relocates to the Netherlands expereince the most problems with their kids at school.

What kind of troubles they are facing?
And why just only them?

Didn't quite understand your comment about only suitable for MBO students.
According to my knowledge you can become only a teacher when you have your HBO diploma.

I think the quality of the schoolsystem is more or less subjective. Everywhere you have good and bad, even in the Netherlands. But in general the system is from a high quality and standards.
Now, if I compare all this together the system in Jordan, where I currently live, than I can say that Jordan can't compare with the Dutch system. It's far behind but slowly it will improve.

sure, each country has its own values and special aspects, but we are not talking about the judgmental\subjective estimation, I look into the system globaly, not as a private person, but as a professional with years of experience.

I am not totally agree with the comments about that you can't go to the university. You have always the opportunity. To me the system is fair. It is understandable that the universities only accept students who are able to graduate after. It's in both interests in financial and efforts ways. To many dropouts, changing studies or unmotivated students  are the main reasons why they make it a bit difficult to enter.

The tests where you all referring to as a twelve year old, is the CITO toets.
Many schools, students and parents are relying on it but it is not always accurate. A child can still developing.

I will take myself as an example.
Many years ago I was tested for the LBO (in my time is the LTS= technical  for the boys and LHNO=huishoudschool for girls). I could go to the Mavo but the teacher said that I have to study very hard. So I went to the huishoudschool were I learned sewing and cooking as well. After that I went to a MBO because I always wanted to become a midwife. But it seems to far for me and on this new developed type of education, I could become a "kraamverzorgster ".
Unfortunately for each year there were four traineeships in the very popular maternity direction and it was kind of a lottery. I was not one of them. Anyway, at the end of the three years of MBO, I looked into a HBO education midwife. But if you don't had your traineeship in that field it was almost impossible.  So I searched further and choosed for social work.  When I almost graduated from the HBO,  I wanted to go to the university. But unfortunately I couldn't effort it anymore. I had two years left which means that for the last two academical years I had to pay the full amount. I payed all costs for myself by combining a full time study and work. Of course,  I could go to the university after my first year of HBO but I didn't.
So, according to the CITO test I never was been able to reach that high. I was a slowly student that needed a bit more time and effort to get good rates but I was one of the smartest of my class.

This is how the system works:
LBO - MBO - HBO - university or
Mavo - Havo - VWO - university or
Vwo - university

And remember: not everyone is suitable for university and if you really want to, it's possible. I always say: waar een wil is, is een weg. No matter what!

Yes, I took the extra years and costs  but if you have a MBO you can do one year HBO and then university.
I believe that the universities takes also tests after MBO, but depends on which direction you want to choose.

My dear,

thanks a lot for sharing your story and experience, I appreciate that a lot.  :top:

Shall I suggest some comments referring to your educational story? Since I studied in a high school, pedagogical college, university (MA in linguistics and psyhology), then follow the MBA program at Luton University and London business school. In between all those years I worked as a teacher at school, language centers and colleges. Even till now I teach sometimes the language classes.

I could share with you my own experience when I attend to the Utrecht University to learn the dutch language. We had the classes with native speakers- dutch teachers ( 90 euro per hour!!!), the methods some of them were applying were as following: learn by heart, no rules, read the grammer rules in a study book, a lot of homework. (briefly- no teaching methods at all). - just small example

Unfortunately I could not be present at all classes due to the heavy pregnancy, but I was the only one who could pass all tests ( ha-ha, only because of my previous knowledge of teaching strategies and linguistic methods) I would never recommend to my students to learn everything by hart, because teacher is oblige to explain and help, it is his job to do so!)
As teacher I know many  methods of teaching language, which I apply during my lessons, and it is so hard to see how the dutch "colleagues" work :/ 

Summury: to make the long story short, in your case you could get the HBO education easily and more efficient if you would study in another country like Ireland, former USSR- countries or Eastern European countries. Unfortunately the dutch educational system  limit the future and do not allow kids to grow intellectually ( "take it easy", don't put pressure on yourself, lack of motivation  ) I even have an offical letter from an elementary school director where it stated that learning a foreign language affects the developing of the kid in negative way)- no kidding!!! :o   Language development is a highly unique skill that allows children to communicate with the entire world,  beside all of what I mention above, the forgery of school performance reports is a common issue.

I would like to illustrate the point

Quote: "In general, education in the Netherlands is good and fewer children are repeating years, the report says. However, the chief inspector also points out that schools are becoming more selective and that it is increasingly difficult for late developers to move up into a higher stream. Education minister Jet Bussemaker said in a reaction that schools must be aware of the negative impact of strict selection policies at a young age. ‘Education must remain accessible for everyone, including those who blossom at a later age and want to move up a stream,’ she is quoted as saying by news agency ANP"

Primadonna :

I am not totally agree with the comments about that you can't go to the university. You have always the opportunity. To me the system is fair. It is understandable that the universities only accept students who are able to graduate after. It's in both interests in financial and efforts ways. To many dropouts, changing studies or unmotivated students  are the main reasons why they make it a bit difficult to enter.

The tests where you all referring to as a twelve year old, is the CITO toets.
Many schools, students and parents are relying on it but it is not always accurate. A child can still developing.

So, according to the CITO test I never was been able to reach that high. I was a slowly student that needed a bit more time and effort to get good rates but I was one of the smartest of my class.

And remember: not everyone is suitable for university and if you really want to, it's possible. I always say: waar een wil is, is een weg. No matter what!

I think I was bit misunderstood. It is of course possible to go to university in other ways if you did not score well enough for CITO. My main issues regard foreign students who COULD have scored highly in CITO if only they knew the language better. But if they arrived at ages 10-11, or after 13, their Dutch level would not be good enough. So they would have to go to MAVO even though they want to go to university later, and could have achieved highly in CITO. That's what I meant by having the opportunity.

With regards to how the Dutch educational system works, I still feel that it is too selective at too young an age.
Firstly, as you said, some kids are late bloomers. When I was in school, several students did not do very well until the last two years, and only then got themselves together and ended up getting very good grades in their final exams. If they were in NL, they would have been put straight to a lower level school and not given a proper chance to realise their potential. Of course if there's a will, there's a way. But from my experience, the will is often strongest when you are surrounded by some high-achiever people, as it makes you strive to do as well as them. If you are surrounded only by people of the same level or lower, you tend to boil in the same pot. 
Secondly, universities have so many other ways to be selective. In Ireland each university course has a minimum number of "points" that a student has to score in their final school exams. In some other countries, universities also have their own entrance exams. In both cases, the testing is done at the very end of the students development, to give them a chance to bloom. Anything can still happen at the age of 12.

Thanks for the responses; I'm impressed with the passion that comes across and I sympathise with those who consider themselves to be disenfranchised by the "System".  To be honest, I was wondering whether or not to lance the boil that seemed to bubbling earlier on in this thread when I first asked what the problem was with an MBO education; I think I'm right in saying that the overall message seems to be "my son/daughter could have been a teacher/doctor/professor etc, but the system has denied them this!" - am I wrong?  Had you known this, would you not have moved to Holland?

My own opinion is that the system "could" be deemed to be unfair, but as Primadonna has pointed out, there is a way around it - albeit, your child will have to try a bit harder to pass the test and you'll have to get your wallet out.  I think the important thing is to realise that it is "the System" and applies to everybody, so in that respect is fair; I suspect that is not likely to change (I don't see anything in the Dutch press to make me think otherwise).

Education seems to be a constant subject of discussion amongst my immediate family in Holland, who are all native Dutch and on the whole, they are happy with it.  It works for the majority of the kids and no system will cope with everything thrown at it.  It seems that it's something that either most of us missed, or hadn't considered when we moved to Holland; by the time it hits us, it's all to late, or has caused stress and cost money - I think my kids were lucky that we moved on to the UK when we did. 

Interesting, very interesting.

So shortly said: it's all about the motivation and how much effort you put into it.
If you can believe you can than go for it.
Even for foreign students who hasn't the required level on the Dutch language  yet.
What is one year extra on a lifetime?

My kids went to the same group in Jordan as they had  finished in the Netherlands.
I think it is foremost the parents who are pushing that much. Always being competitive instead of seeing or accepting  what the kid wants or needs.

Cynic, in my case I'm talking from the perspective of the child. I remember having to cope with a new language and new classmates as an 8 year old, and the pressure my parents already had on me to do well academically. This was difficult enough, but if the CITO was thrown into the equation, I probably would have had a meltdown. (A bit of an exaggeration on the meltdown :D) But I definitely would have felt incredibly guilty and ashamed if I did not do well enough, leading to extra years of studying and my parents parting with more cash. If I have children in the future, I really wouldn't want them to go through that stress at such a young age. Thankfully, the Irish system allowed me to go at my own pace, pick up the language, and do very well in high school.

I do agree that the Dutch system isn't going to be changed any time soon. Dutch people don't seem to have an issue with it, and that's perfectly fine. And the system is fair and gives equal opportunity to those who started their education here. It is the foreign families with older children that encounter the most issues. I understand that foreign families wouldn't be the main concern of Dutch people, but seeing as how we're on an Expat forum, it is very relevant.

Primadonna :

What is one year extra on a lifetime?

I guess some of the disagreement comes down to our age and current situation. I graduated from my Master only a few months ago, and everything is still incredibly fresh in my head. So at this point in my life, 1-2 extra years is definitely a big deal.
But in 10 years it really wouldn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in the Netherlands

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in the Netherlands

Moving to the Netherlands

Find tips from professionals about moving to the Netherlands

Travel insurance in the Netherlands

Enjoy a stress-free travel across the Netherlands

Flights to the Netherlands

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to the Netherlands