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Fifty organisations urge Dutch government to look for alternatives to school closure

January 14th, 2021

At least fifty organisations are urgently calling on the Dutch government to look for alternatives to school closures in order to limit the enormous developmental risks for children and young people. The question is not whether schools should be closed, but how they can safely remain open, reads a statement released today.

Schoolbus in Libanon, foto Arie Kievit

Looking for alternatives

The fifty Dutch organisations and institutions, besides Terre des Hommes NL among others UNICEF Nederland, the Dutch Mental Health Services, Kids Rights, Jantje Beton and the Trimbos Institute, are very concerned about children and young people in the Netherlands. The number of vulnerable children is growing because their interests are constantly being neglected in the corona policy. The school closures aggravate their situation and even make it acute,' say the organisations.

Thus, the parties call on the government and the OMT, the advisory body on Covid in the Netherlands, not only to assume the viral risk, but also to explicitly look at the risks that threaten the development of children and young people.

The organisations want the government, together with the education sector, young people, children, sports organisations and other experts, to look for alternative possibilities to keep the schools open, to improve school safety and to make sure the 1,5 meter distance measures are in place.

Last year, Terre des Hommes asked 1100 Dutch parents about their concerns regarding the impact of corona on their children. The main concern: that their children fall behind on education. 

The appeal is an initiative of UNICEF Netherlands, supported by 49 other parties. With the statement, the 50 organisations are making a collective fist in the hope that the government will look for alternatives to school closures.

Statement on schoolclosure
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