MBO fears more study delay due to coronavirus measures

Schools in secondary vocational education (mbo) fear that the corona restrictions will lead to more study delay and drop-out of students this school year. This is evident from a tour of the CCeit among almost half of the senior secondary vocational education (mbo) institutions. Today, the mbo year will be officially opened.

Of the 26 institutions surveyed, 14 expect more study delays. Nine mbos think that more students will drop out than normal. The schools announce that they will do everything possible to reduce delays and drop-outs as much as possible, especially by means of a lot of personal attention and support.


Because of the corona rules, only about a third of the students can be at school at the same time. The majority of the lessons will therefore be online in the coming year: on average about 60 percent of the lessons will be given remotely. First-year students, graduates and vulnerable students are most often allowed to come to school.

It is feared that students will lose their motivation due to the little physical contact. Less contact leads to less commitment to the study programme and to demotivation, says the Nova College from Haarlem. And: In education – and certainly in mbo – personal contact is very important to keep students on their toes, according to a Frisian mbo institution.

Keeping an eye on things

The schools use a range of resources to prevent delays and drop-outs. The students can count on being watched closely. With a lot of individual guidance, extra mentors and study career coaches, they need to stay connected.

Noorderpoort in Groningen wants to provide tailor-made solutions: We are setting up study centres aimed at preventing and limiting delays. We offer more help with internship placements and invest more in mentor contact hours


In itself, schools are not negative about online education, but experiences with distance learning are variable. MBO Rijn IJssel in Arnhem: Some of the students do not work at home education, while others indicate that it is more pleasant because they are less distracted and have less travel time

An intermediate vocational school in Groningen recognizes that picture. Some students like it, others find it more difficult to stay motivated. In general, the picture is that this degree of online education is more difficult for both teacher and student. At the same time, this is an innovation from which we can also benefit in the future

The physical lessons that are available are spread out more over the day. Several MBOs teach until late in the evening, and a few go to weekends to make up for last years backlogs.


The beating heart of the mbo courses are the practical internships. In the coming school year, some of the students will find it more difficult to find an internship. The most frequently mentioned problem sectors are the events sector, the hospitality industry and, to a lesser extent, external care. Foreign internships often cannot take place.

MBOs move the internships to a later stage of the study, devise a replacement assignment or move on to another sector of industry that still meets the requirements. According to mbo Rijn IJssel, the practice can also be imitated, for example for the event students: For these courses we organise alternative practical simulations, often together with partners in the field, with the assignment to prepare an event or organise a performance in the simulation.

But there are also MBOs that do not suffer from internship shortages. For example, the Zone College in Zwolle, with its many green courses, says that there is no shortage there. And the Leiden Instrument Makers School also has no problem finding internship placements.

Not the new normal

Adnan Tekin, chairman of the MBO Council, praises the flexibility of the MBO schools during the coronation period, but at the same time shares the concerns of the schools. Please dont let this way of teaching become the new normal. The power of MBO is precisely that transfer of knowledge from practice, at school in lessons and during internships. Online education is a keeper, but after lessons at school and not instead of.

Tekin hopes that the schools will be able to provide more practical lessons at school in the short term. That will help to catch up as much as possible and also reduce the backlog. But of course this is only possible if the 1.5 meter rule changes