Due to the shortage of teachers in primary education, bridge graders are increasingly confronted with backlogs in crucial subjects such as Dutch and mathematics. That is the opinion of the VO-Raad, the association of schools in secondary education, based on signals from teachers at secondary schools throughout the country.

Pupils get less knowledge as a result of the shortage of teachers in primary education, a problem with which secondary school teachers are saddled.

A spokesperson confirms a message about this in the AD on Tuesday. The problem occurs throughout the country and at all school levels, but is more urgent in the big cities than in other areas.

"There is a clear downward trend," says a spokesperson for the national umbrella of secondary schools. A large international study has recently shown that the reading skills of Dutch young people are constantly declining, certainly in comparison with other countries.

"If a student goes to secondary education, he or she must have a certain basic level," the spokesman explains. "More and more students do not have that level. Students are missing more and more lessons due to the teacher shortage. And primary schools often no longer have any opportunity to pay extra attention to students who need it."

See also: 'Four out of ten schools still suffer from teacher shortage'

"Teachers hold their hearts for new class of primary school students"

The problems mainly occur in Dutch and in exact subjects, such as mathematics and physics. "And the backlogs will only get worse in the coming years," says the spokesperson. "Teachers in secondary education are holding their hearts. Because the shortage of teachers in primary education is only increasing."

It is a simple calculation, according to the spokesman. "If pupils in primary schools are taught four instead of five days a week because of the shortage of teachers, they will get less knowledge."

See also: Academics warn that Dutch language is being neglected

'Teacher education also threatens to drop out in secondary education'

The VO-Council calls on the government to make rapid investments not only in primary education, but also in secondary education to prevent the backlog from spreading like an oil slick. "In secondary education, too, teachers do not have much room to worry about the knowledge deficit of their new first-year students. They are already struggling with an enormous workload; even more additional tasks will also lead to additional dropout of teachers in secondary education."

According to the VO-Council it is of great importance that salaries in education go up, the workload decreases and teachers also have the opportunity and time to develop further. "The teaching profession must be made more attractive and the government and minister must also actively work to raise the status of the profession quickly."

Last year teachers dropped out of work a number of times for a shorter period of time because they think the government has not taken the problems seriously for years. On 30 and 31 January, many teachers in primary and secondary education will resign from work to send a signal.

See also: NU.nl research: One in five primary schools still looking for a teacher