Every day, 8,000 students in the city have no real teacher or teaching assistant in front of class. They receive ‘lessons with artifice’, which means that there is, for example, a teaching assistant in front of the class. That was said on Monday during the presentation of the Emergency Plan Teacher Education The Hague.

With a total of more than 55,000 primary school pupils, this amounts to a teacher shortage of 15 percent. “These students receive different education than we would like,” says Ewald van Vliet, chairman of Lucas Education, one of the largest umbrella organizations in The Hague. “It is a major social problem, so together we must make every effort to jointly solve this major problem.” There are around 500 job openings for teachers in The Hague.

The three largest cities – Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam – presented a package of emergency measures on Monday to tackle the teacher shortage. “For example, by deploying teaching assistants and teacher assistants. But also by allowing gym or music teachers to give other courses,” says Van Vliet.

Summary of emergency measures:

  • External guidance for starting teachers and lateral entrants (so that the teacher can simply stand in front of the class)
  • Encourage teachers from popular schools through a bonus to temporarily support an unpopular school
  • Create Buddy schools: schools that are close to each other must help each other in the event of illness or dropout of teachers
  • Appointment of an event manager (not a teacher) who performs peripheral tasks, such as preparing holidays, sports days and the school photographer
  • Deploy competent teacher on core tasks such as language and arithmetic, other subjects are taught by other professionals. The competent teacher therefore teaches in several classes
  • Creating learning plazas that make groups grow. The competent teacher receives help from teaching assistants or teacher assistants
  • Use subject teachers as gym teachers or professionals from the business world for the classroom
  • Student teachers from the third and fourth year put a maximum of 1.5 days per week in front of the class
  • Extend part-time hours
  • A final emergency measure is a four-day lesson week, in which students receive other in-depth activities on the fifth day


Photo: elinerijpers