EU: More Turkish school dropouts in Netherlands/Belgium

EU: More Turkish school dropouts in Netherlands/Belgium

The large number of school dropouts among second generation Turkish youth is not a general European problem, but rather typical for the Netherlands and Germany.  Countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and France are better at keeping vulnerable groups in.  the important reason for this is the difference in the educational system.

The differences in Europe are big.  One third of the second generation Turks in the Netherlands and Germany drop out of school, often with just a diploma for basic vocational training.  In Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium, less than 10% drop out.

This according to a study in seven European countries by Nicis Institute.  A large scale European study regarding the integration of the second generation was conducted on the initiative of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies in Amsterdam.  School plays an important role in integration, education often means the opportunity for success in the work market.

In the Netherlands two aspects of the school system turn out to harm second generation Turks.  The first is the early selection for further education.  In France and Sweden all youth go to the same classes until they're 15.  This is advantageous for the second generation.  Due to the language problems with which most struggle, their learning abilities can often be recognized only at a later age, and generally not by the age of 12, as the Netherlands assumed with the Cito test.  As a result most Turkish students end up in vocational training (VMBO).

The second aspect is the possibility for students in vocational training to get a diploma by the age of 16.  The aim is that they then continue to advanced vocational training (MBO).  Many drop out, also because the MBO program requires more independence from the students.

According to researcher Maurice Crul this means that the Netherlands places its weakest students in the most risky learning environment.   Age 16 is the most risky for school dropouts, since students are then in the middle of the vulnerable puberty.  Those who drop out with just a VMBO diploma have few opportunities in the work market.

Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)

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