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Two hundred years of Dutch education laws

from: De Lantaarn No.7: 'Het nieuwste art.194'. Illustration: J. Holswilder

! All links go to websites in Dutch

On 17 and 18 October, the Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Genootschap (Royal Dutch Historical Society) holds a congress in Utrecht on the theme of Two centuries of education . In this way the Society draws attention to the offcial beginnings of our national educational system: the education law of 1801. Political instability was the reason for its remaining ineffective and new laws were therefore introduced in 1803 and 1806. The latter held, minor changes apart, for over 50 years. School inspectors saw to its enforcement. One of the most famous school inspectors was Henricus Wijnbeek, who visited schools all over the country and wrote extensive reports on these visits. The author Van Lennep wrote in a somewhat lighter vein about his experiences with schools during his walking-trip with Van Hogendorp in 1823.

Important laws pertaining to primary education are those of 1857, 1878, 1889, the law on Compulsary Education of 1901, and the Law on Primary Education of 1981, which became effective in 1985 (which can be read within the UvA-domain in the database of laws, the Wettenbank).

A good guide to search the Internet on the history of education can be found at "The history of education and childhood", a Dutch site by the way. The University Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam has a rich historical collection on education.


Last modified: 28 September 2001   Golden oldies
Editor: Roelof Jansma