Sometimes high school open days are already full: “Children of uneducated parents fail” | Amsterdam

NewsWithin two months, more than eight thousand redundant cohorts will have to hand in a list of high school favorites. But not every child can smell at the open day. Some schools have set a maximum number of visitors and are already full.

A semester at Amsterdam High School. Students in Group VIII will soon have to think about which high school they would like to attend next academic year. © EVERT ELZINGA / ANP

Three themes dominate the lag group’s year: Cito’s test, school advice and the high school they are drawn into. For the latter, they must submit a list of favorites between March 6 and 16. There are eighty high schools in Amsterdam and children can discover which of these schools suits them best during the open days.

Those open days are in January and February so that group debuts have time to orient themselves to their potential future school. But not all children can savor the atmosphere everywhere. If they or their parents don’t act fast enough, they will face a closed door. There are high schools where open days are already fully booked. The one at the De Vinse School in Centrum, for example. The six hundred places were taken for the open day on January 21st. “Full,” says the school’s website, which has three transitional classes with a maximum of 24 students each.

“We are a popular school,” says middle school coordinator Rosemerijn Bovens. “Only a small percentage of these 600 students are chosen by lottery, and we took this into account when organizing our open day. We organize everything in cooperation with our students, who give up a day at the weekend. So we chose one day.”

“The most popular schools receive children with the most informed parents,” says Mino van de Koppel, director of the Consumer Education Organization (OCO). “This is not allowed, I find it really unacceptable. We accepted this in the time of Corona. Now there is literally no reason left to exclude children. We have a lottery for a reason: so that every child has equal opportunities. This creates an uneven playing field.”

via Zoom

Open days are packed for at least five schools in the city. This also applies to physical tours of the Xplore Agora in the North. “Two hundred kids come for a short ride,” says management assistant Rachel van Rooijen. “We have a waiting list. Maybe we’ll do another day. We also organize an open evening via Zoom. Then an overview of the school is given online; after that there are ‘breakout rooms’ where students and parents can chat. Everyone is free to participate.”

The Berlage Lyceum also no longer has an open day venue. The Metis Montessori Lyceum in the East has a capacity of 5,000 people, spread over two days. It’s full and registrations are going fast, he told the rector. Calandlyceum’s reservation system has been unable to register for three days. According to the reservation system, all appointments are fully booked; The school says it is an IT bug that will be “quickly fixed”.

It can also be done differently, like practice shows. in st. The famous Nicolaaslyceum in Zuid, everyone is welcome for open days, without prior registration. The same goes for Barlaeus Gymnasium in the center and Dalton Spinoza Lyceum in the south.

High schools can decide for themselves how many students they allow on their open day. However, elementary schools are not happy with this freedom, according to Tour.

bad condition

“It’s too much, isn’t it, this lottery and matching,” says Cordula Royendijk, principal of the 8th Montessori School in Zeeburg. “I say to the parents: Please visit the schools, only then will you know what kind of atmosphere there is. It is very upsetting when children have to hand in a list of schools when some of them have not even given them the chance to explore it.”

Like EvaNaijkens, headteacher of Alan Turings, a primary school, she points out the inequality created by these “exclusive” open days. “Parents who know how everything works and who are fluent in the language are the first to sign up for the open days. These are often highly educated parents. The other kids are screwed. That sucks.”

Rooijendijk hopes schools will realize the consequences and decide to hold more open days. “I can only hope that everyone will strive for a variety of schoolboys, and if they don’t, they should want to.”

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