Girls outperform boys in Dutch education

Girls outperform boys in Dutch education

Dutch girls outperform boys in secondary and higher education, according to recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands. On 1 January 2014, the population in the Netherlands included 2.5 million boys and 2.4 million girls under the age of 25. More boys than girls require support in education. Nearly three times as many boys as girls attend special education schools.

Behavioural end educational problems occur more frequently among boys. As a result, boys are more likely to repeat a year at school or drop out. Last year, 1 in every 10 young men in the age category 18-24 did not have a starter qualification, versus nearly 7 percent of their female peers.

Based on the results of the Cito exam, boys and girls perform equally well in primary education. In secondary education, however, more girls than boys attend higher general secondary education (havo) or pre-university education (vwo). Subsequently, girls also constitute a majority in higher vocational education (hbo) and university (wo) and they also graduate faster.

More girls opt for scientific studies
Typically, young boys are better at arithmetic while girls are better at languages. This phenomenon is corroborated by the Cito test results. Boys perform better in arithmetic maths and girls have better linguistic skills. During and after the secondary-school period, boys more often opt for science-related subjects. The interest in science has grown among girls in the Netherlands in recent years but is still relatively small compared to other European countries.

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