Coronavirus: Schools staying open in the Netherlands – MPs concerned

Coronavirus: Schools staying open in the Netherlands – MPs concerned

Yesterday, new measures were announced to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands. One of these was for people to work from home. Children, however, still have to attend school. Primary school, secondary school and MBO are still open. Parliamentarians from both the coalition and opposition parties are worried about this decision.

Keeping schools open controversial

The decision to keep schools open is an odd one according to many parliamentarians. PVV leader Geert Wilders believes that all schools should be shut immediately. He also feels that the new measure are not enough and have been put into place too late. In countries like Germany, France, Ireland, Norway and Denmark, schools have already been shut.

Other political parties such as the FvD, PvdD, 50Plus, DENK, and PvdA agree that schools should close. Whilst a motion to close schools did not pass, one stating that parents who decide to keep their children at home should not be fined did get majority support. GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver has asked the government to make sure that schools have enough resources to fight the virus.

Expert advice

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has defended the decision to keep schools open for now, saying that it is not that he wants to keep them open, “But I follow the advice of experts who say that the medical risks for children are considerably lower. And I listen to bodies that say if we close schools, we will miss many people in sectors such as healthcare, the GGDs, the fire brigade and the police.”

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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AdrianAlbu 12:21 | 13 March 2020

kids can get it , spread it at schools and bring it home to parents and grand parents...

Lauri Tiainen 13:36 | 13 March 2020

The argumentation to keep schools fully open is weak. If it is important to enable health care etc adults to work (which I can agree), why not then keep school open for only those kids whose parents are working on those critical jobs, spread the kids around into small groups in that almost empty school and let the rest to stay at home. Few teachers would be enough to guard those kids. If there would be a will, there would be solutions also. By only this simple thing, risk would be very much minimized. Why Dutch are so much more clever in the subject that all other countries have already done differently?

Stefano Pane 13:53 | 13 March 2020

It is true the virus is not dangerous for childrens and kids, but they are nonetheless carriers of the virus consequently they represent a danger for others, that is why school should be closed.

telmita 23:18 | 14 March 2020

This "business as usual" attitude from the Government of the Netherlands and the low number of tests being done are the reason the growth rate is one of the fastest in the world. Many cases are unknown to the authorities, and the authorities actually want to keep it that way. Brave measures like necessary lockdowns won't be seen here. Schools and nurseries are, of course, not closing yet After all, we don't want to pinch the economy of the country. The government is either overwhelmed by the whole situation or is simply in denial of what is already taking place in other european countries. Luckily, a lot of responsible citizens who live here have decided to stay home and not take their kids to nurseries or schools. Kids are not having symptoms most of the time, but they spread the virus in the comunnities. Let's hope good sense prevails and schools are closed soon.

Juju Em 16:01 | 15 March 2020

Exactly what's happening now!