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Every child has the right to develop its talents. The school's mission is to guide the students in this process. This enables children to lay a good foundation for their later life.

Since October 10, 2010, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science is responsible for education policy in the islands. This means that the schools in the Caribbean Netherlands are part of the Dutch education system. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) works to create a smart, skilled and creative environment in the Netherlands. The mission of OCW is to ensure that everyone gets a good education and is prepared for responsibility and independence. 

Since January 1, 2011, the schools receive their funding directly from the Netherlands. Since August 1, 2011, the Dutch Caribbean Education Laws apply. Substantive changes to the education system are implemented gradually. Below is a brief overview of elements from the education laws that were implemented between 2011 and 2016:

  • Compulsory education applies to children from 4 to 16 years old.
  • In addition, students are obliged to achieve a basic qualification in secondary vocational education (MBO level 2) or senior general secondary education (HAVO) up until the age of 18. Thereafter, they are required to work, learn or combine both.
  • The so-called “Funderend Onderwijs” (primary and secondary education) is now called “Primair Onderwijs” (PO). For all of the islands, key targets have been set for the levels of Dutch, math and English that must be achieved in “Primair Onderwijs”.
  • “Secundair beroepsonderwijs” (secondary vocational education) has been renamed “middelbaar beroepsonderwijs” (MBO; intermediate vocational education).
  • An expert center for educational care (EOZ) is active in each of the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands to provide guidance to children who require extra attention.
  • The schools fall under the supervision of the Dutch Inspectorate for Education.
  • The summer vacation dates are set by the Ministry of OCW.

In each of the islands, an education meeting will take place at the island level. At this meeting, school boards, school managers, island governments and RCN talk about the educational ambitions and how they can be realized.

 See also: Toezicht op scholen en instellingen in Caribisch Nederland


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Eilandgids Caribisch Nederland (PDF)Blog Rv