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.
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.”