Gasselte Primary School is starting to grow, and children learn in the hallway

The number of pupils at the public primary school De Dobbe in Gasselte has increased so much in recent years that there are not enough classrooms for teaching. So children are sometimes taught in the village hall, in the teachers’ room, or even in the hallway.

To solve the problem of lack of space, the school will receive emergency classes from Aa Municipality and Hunze in January. A temporary solution, since De Dobbe already needs more space permanently.

“It’s full here, it just doesn’t fit anymore,” director Jantinus Esschendal says as he walks down the narrow corridor of the school. When he utters his words, a group of children pass him by. This works well without anyone having to step down.

The school has more students than the available space. According to Eichendall, more young families have come to live in Jasilti or nearby villages in recent years. “Our education also appeals to parents from villages like Gasselternijveen, where there is also a school. Children of people who live temporarily in holiday parks in the area also come here. As a result, we now have more children in classes than in a few years.”

Students at De Dobbe are regularly taught outside the four walls of the classroom. Children work in groups on more projects than before or are taught separately by another part of the class. This is not always possible in the same room with their classmates, but there is no really decent alternative, so the school has to improvise.

So young children are sometimes taught in the teacher’s room or sitting with their teacher on a rug in the hallway. In the neighboring village house De Trefkoel, space for a classroom was also made. Great, but that means children and teachers always have to drag educational materials across half of the school. Far from ideal.

According to Director Eichendall, the emergency buildings to be installed by the municipality are very welcome, but he would prefer a permanent solution. “We want to make the corridors a few meters wider, so that at least there is more space there. In the long term, we want to build a completely new classroom in the village hall.”

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