Improve transfer in secondary education and in senior secondary vocational education (MBO). Make sure that pupils who end up on the wrong educational path as a result of early selection can still change to the right path. Make sure they have sufficient basic knowledge to make the change.
27 November 2007
Major structural changes are not needed, just some ‘maintenance work'. The Education Council wants to give secondary schools and senior secondary vocational schools (‘regional training centres') increased opportunities to simplify the programmes and learning pathways themselves. Ultimately, there should be a shift from guaranteeing the offering of programmes to guaranteeing transfer between programmes and the basic knowledge that pupils should attain.
Pupils should be allowed more time than the current maximum of five years to complete their preparatory secondary vocational education (VMBO). This would raise the chance of obtaining a diploma and of success in senior secondary vocational education (MBO). The transfer from preparatory secondary vocational education (VMBO) to senior secondary vocational education (MBO) could be made simpler by reducing and broadening the number of routes into VMBO. Both school types could also jointly prepare pupils for the two lowest levels of MBO (‘short MBO'). The transfer from preparatory secondary vocational education (VMBO) to senior general secondary education (HAVO) could also be made easier, for instance, by establishing ‘HAVO opportunity classes' in years 3 and 4 of VMBO. It should then be possible for pupils in these classes to make the transfer at any time.
The two transfer paths from preparatory secondary vocational education (VMBO) to higher professional education (HBO) - either via senior general secondary education (HAVO) or via the full-time senior secondary vocational education (‘long MBO') - are valuable elements of our education system. The Education Council supports the strengthening of both paths.
Pupils will be more successful in subsequent education if they have the right level of basic knowledge. In other words, their knowledge of Dutch, English and maths. In this recommendation, the Education Council therefore also calls for the introduction of learning standards in these subjects. Finally, investing in teacher training is highly important.