‘Statushouders voor de Klas’ kicks off in Amsterdam

14 Sep 2020 11:27 | Student Affairs

Giving refugee teachers perspective on the Dutch job market: that’s the aim of the one-year Orientation Programme ‘Statushouders in de Klas’. On Wednesday 2 September 2020, the third group of participants gathered in AUAS-location Wibauthuis to enjoy the kick-off meeting of the programme. Thirteen migrants who used to work as mathematics, chemistry or physics teacher in their home countries, will be guided to excercise their profession and rebuild their futures in the Netherlands. ‘Statushouders voor de Klas’ is offered by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the foundation for refugee students UAF, commissioned by the Amsterdam government.

Learning and working

The initiative ‘Statushouders voor de Klas’ originated three years ago, as a reaction to the teacher shortage in the Netherlands. This year it is being organized for the third time. The programme has a duration of one year. Participants follow an internship on a high school for two days a week, and in addition they attend two days of classes at AUAS. Participants are taught Dutch as a second language, and they also learn how the Dutch educational system functions. Furthermore, they are taught their own disciplines, so they get familiar with the Dutch sibject language and didactics. They can directly put this knowledge into practice during their internships.

Mathematics teacher Gafari Oguz already successfully completed the programme: “The main difference was the language, but the profiles and behaviour of the pupils were quite similar. The communication between the teachers was very pleasurable. We came together regularly to do things together, not only within school, but also outside of school. Everyone helps each other.”

New opportunities

Whilst they are learning and working, the participants also broaden their professional networks. After completing the programme, participants with a teaching certificate may directly start their careers as teachers. Teachers who still have to obtain their certificate will flow into a parttime teacher training programme (three years) or the side-trajectory for teachers.

Mathematics teacher and former participant of ‘Statushouders voor de Klas’ Maha Awad: “My goal was to get an internship at a Dutch high school. Now I have a real job at the same school where I completed my internship!”

Role models in education

In addition to responding to the teacher shortage, there are many more reasons why introducing migrants as teachers is a great idea, explains Mayke Rameckers, head of the Language Department of AUAS: “By employing these people in Dutch high schools, you generate diversity in teacher teams, at the same time providing better role models in our classrooms.”

The third class of ‘Statushouders voor de Klas’ will complete the orientation programme in June 2021.