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Education

Right to education

Going to school isn’t always fun, but school is very important. All children have a right to school. You are obliged to go school. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

These are the rights of the child. It says that all children have a right to school and education. All children therefore should be able to go to school. The most important regulations:
  • You have a right to education until the age of 18. This also applies to child refugees.
  • Primary school is free and compulsory. In the Netherlands secondary school is also free and compulsory. Secondary school is the school after primary school.
  • You have the right to education on your own level. Is school too difficult? You can then go to a special school. Lessons are slower here.
Rules in Europe
There is an important rule in Europe. This is called the European Regulation. It states that all child refugees have a right to school and education.
  • You have a right to education until you are 18. This also applies to child refugees.
  • Child refugees have the right to the same education as all other children in the Netherlands.
  • Maximum three months after having requested asylum in the Netherlands, you should get an education.
The Netherlands rules
The law of the Netherlands includes information about the right to school and education. The law are the rules of a country. The most important laws in the Netherlands are: Immigration Law If you don’t have a residence permit, some things aren’t allowed. This is mentioned in the Immigration Law. You are not allowed to work. You don’t get social security payment. You are allowed to go to school without a residence permit until you are 18. Article 10 of the 2000 Immigration Law Article 8b, paragraph 2 of the Linking Act Constitution The Constitution is the most important and highest law in the Netherlands. In includes all rights of inhabitants of the Netherlands. The rules about education can be found in article 23 of the Constitution. The Constitution mentions that the government must pay for primary school and that there should be various types of schools. For instance, Christian or Islamic.
Compulsory education, exceptions and playing truant
Going to school is very important. In the Netherlands you are obliged to go until you are 18. This is called ‘compulsory education'. This is a law, with two important rules:
  1. Compulsory education

    If you are aged between 5 and 16, you have 'compulsory education'. This means that you have to go to school.
  2. Qualification duty

If you are aged between 16 and 18 then there is a ‘qualification duty’. This means that you have to go to school until you have a 'basic qualification'. This is a diploma of higher general secondary education, pre-university education or intermediate vocational education (level 2 or higher). With a diploma you have a better chance of finding work.

  • You are not at school. The teacher will call your parents to ask where you are. If your parents don’t have a good reason why you aren’t there, your school will call the local authority, where there is a compulsory education official. This is someone who checks whether children are going to school.
  • Do you play truant a lot? Then the compulsory education official can visit your parents. He or she then asks why you aren’t there.
  • The compulsory education official will not go to the Aliens police if you play truant.
  • If you play truant a lot, your parents may be given a fine. If you are older than 12, you may also be punished for playing truant. For instance, a fine or community service. This is a form of punishment where you have to do chores.
Exceptions You have to go to school every day. There are a few exceptions: For children aged 16 and older If you are aged between 16 and 18, you no longer have to go to school every day. You can then also work a few days a week. You go to school on the other days. Please note: you have 'qualification duty’. For children aged five Children of five may stay at home five hours a week. Parents must then inform the headmaster of the school in advance.   If you are ill Sometimes you can’t go to school because you are ill. Your parents then have to inform the school. Before the lesson begins, your parents must call the school to say you aren’t coming that day. If something bad happens If something happens in your family then you don’t have to go to school. For instance, someone gets very ill or dies. Your parents then have to call the school to say you aren’t coming that day. Because of a holiday of your faith   If you have a holiday because of your faith, you can get one day off. For instance, the Sugar Festival or Passover. Your parents do have to ask permission from the headmaster two days in advance.   Playing truant It’s possible that you can’t come to school for a day. For instance because you are ill, or because you have an important appointment for your asylum procedure. Do you often not go to school without a reason? This is called playing truant. Playing truant is not allowed. What happens when I play truant?
 

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