Education System of Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands comprises four nations namely, the Netherlands in mainland Europe, and islands of Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curacao in the Caribbean along with 3 special municipalities namely the islands of Saba, Bonaire and Sint Eustatius. The Netherlands means the low countries because much of the land is situated either at or below the sea level. The Netherlands is also referred to as Holland.
The Netherlands is spread over an area of 41,000 square kilometers. It's official name is the Kingdom of Netherlands and the form of government followed here is a constitutional monarchy with bicameral parliament. This country is the 10th biggest exporter in the world and the 16th largest economy, according to the Study in Holland official study portal. According to this portal, nearly 80% of the economy in this nation is service based.
There are both public and private institutions at all levels of the education system; the private institutions are mostly based on religious or ideological principles.
Children in the Netherlands get 8 years of primary education, 4, 5 or 6 years of secondary education (depending on the type of school). After secondary school they can go on to vocational education or higher education. Primary education is intended for children in the age group 4 to 12 and is compulsory for children from the age of 5. Most primary schools still teach in Dutch. Also there are some bilingual primary schools where class are delivered in both English and Dutch.
At the age of 12 children go to one of the following types of secondary education:
- preparatory vocational secondary education (vmbo) - 4 years in duration
- senior general secondary education (havo) - 5 years in duration
- university preparatory education (vwo) - 6 years in duration
Also there are many bilingual schools to offer education in both English and Dutch medium.
The Dutch term for secondary Vocational Education and Training (VET) is "middelbaar beroepsonderwijs" often abbreviated in Dutch as "mbo". Pre-vocational education and training is known as "voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs" ("vmbo").