Accumulation and leakage are increasing as a result of Corona

Developmental delay in learning in mathematics and spelling is increasing. Also, more and more students in middle and higher vocational education leave school without a diploma. This is clear from the progress report of the National Education Program. “The problem is getting bigger, not smaller.”

The report shows that the arrears incurred by students during the Corona crisis have not yet been compensated everywhere. Primary school pupils are fifteen weeks behind in Maths and Spelling, and this is on the rise. There is also good news: the backlog in comprehension of the read is decreasing and high school students have been fully absorbed. It is also positive that the performance of students in all types of education in the English language is better than it was before the Corona crisis.

Teachers explain the differences because in some subjects, students essentially have to put in extra flight hours to follow through on material, such as reading, and that those extra hours are now done. In mathematics, it is more crowded: if you don’t understand a part of the material, it will be difficult to master the subsequent material.


Remarkably, the delay is greater among children of highly educated parents, while pupils with less educated parents are significantly improved. According to the report, the fact that the resources of non-profit organizations are mainly used for pupils of lower socioeconomic status is a possible explanation.

“The learning delay is greater in the eighth group. If I continue this streak, I’m holding my breath for what happens in secondary schools.”

The exact impact of learning delay in secondary education is still being investigated. Carla Hellermans, research leader for the National Cohort Study – part of the progress report – voiced her concerns at the NRC: “The problem is getting bigger rather than getting smaller. In our research, we see that learning delays increase as pupils get older: learning delays are greater in Group 8. If I continue this streak, I am sad about what happens in high schools.

performance pressure

Especially since there are growing concerns about the well-being of students. Girls in secondary education, in particular, have much lower scores in terms of well-being and concentration than they did before Corona and are under greater pressure to perform. Conversations with specialists also show that students find it difficult to learn, are less motivated and have difficulty planning. Students are easily distracted, busy, and often hesitate in class. They, as it were, are no longer used to being in class, one of the teachers explains in the report.

Students in secondary education also suffer from “persistent mental problems” and school delays. For the first time since the outbreak of Corona, the dropout rate of students in both MBO and HBO is increasing sharply. More and more students are leaving school without a diploma. The consequences of relaxed exam requirements, as a result of which many students begin their further education with lower exam scores and lower skills, are not yet evident, but “there is a greater chance of dropout lurking”.


During the Corona crisis, students have suffered from school closures, cancellations of lessons and distance learning, which has caused delays. The resources of the National Education Program (8.5 billion euros until 2025) are intended to make up the arrears. According to Ministers Robbert Dijkgraaf and Dennis Wiersma, resource expenditure in primary and secondary education is up to standard, in secondary education it is 40 percent. “From the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, we will provide additional support to schools in order to increase the effectiveness of the programme,” they wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives.

However, a quarter of the boards in primary education did not account for the resources. There is also a lack of transparency in MBO and higher education. Therefore, Bernchott’s office was unable to provide a comprehensive picture of spending on the basis of annual reports. “This is unacceptable,” the ministers wrote in the letter, which promises targeted measures to force governments to account.

A large part of the budget is not used and of the money used, we cannot verify if it is well spent. This is definitely not acceptable.”

AOb finds this troubling. “A large part of the budget is not used and from the money used, we can’t check if it is well spent. This is definitely unacceptable. Even the backlog in some areas and the dropout rate of students is increasing, so we must do everything we can to change this situation.” says Tamar Van Gelder, AOb chair.

According to her, there’s still a long way to go to really get everything on track. “The Corona period has been very severe for education and not only can you catch up with this backlog. Also because there are not enough colleagues to provide all the further education.”

See also: Education businesses thrive thanks to NPO funds And the NPO is “impractical” due to teacher shortages, workload, and cancellation of lessons

Leave a Comment