Every year more and more schools are closing their doors. Last school year 108 elementary schools were shut down or merged with another school. Thus there are, according to the Office of Education have 6541 primary schools left.
The PO-council, the sector organization for primary education, can not remember that the number of schools that disappeared in one year has ever been so high and predicts that in the coming years even more schools will close their doors.
That’s because of the decreasing number of pupils. “We know on the basis of birth rates exactly how many pupils we can expect in primary education,” said Rinda den Besten, chairman of the PO board. The prognosis is that in 2020 there will be 100,000 students less in the country. “Schools and Schools domes must be warned.”
They should, according to Den Besten, look for more cooperation or merge. “When you look at these forecasts, we will have ten very heavy years. Hopefully after the situation will stabilize.”
The Ministry of Education indicates that in the near future many rules will liberalized. They will introduce additutional measures to stimulate collaborations.
But in many villages they do not have that time.There they see a decrease in the number of pupils of up to 20 per cent in two years.
These villages are mainly located in the shrinking areas. In North Groningen, Zeeland and Limburg. The decline is the greatest there. That means that more primary schools will disappear or will have to work together.
But also in the Randstad and the center of the country start getting the same problem. “It’s getting closer,” said Den Besten. “Schools and parents should be aware of the situation and that this also means that some facilities will disappear. We are pleased that the government will help to facilitate collaborations between schools”.