ARNHEM – The Waldorf School in Brugstraat in Arnhem-Noord explodes at the seams. Literally all available space is used to make education possible. Talks with the municipality have so far yielded nothing. And if nothing happened soon, Principal Hannes van Soest wouldn’t know where to look.
The curved Hannes leads us to what is a “bicycle vault”. “You can see it’s parked quite full and we really lack space here,” he explains of the concrete shed full of bikes. “That doesn’t work. The other option is in the schoolyard, but then you don’t have enough space there.”
Inside, even the kitchen appears to have been converted into an office. “I noticed that this creates tension,” says Hans. “That people are being pressured into not being able to sit anywhere. It just gets in the way of a nice performance.” Despite this, the atmosphere in the team is excellent, as the headmaster assures.
Unequal opportunities due to construction
Mr. Job was forced to go downstairs with the seventh and eighth grades. “It’s very difficult,” he admits. “At first we were mainly concerned about the lack of space and noise.” Job knows that his class is also experiencing temperature changes. “We want to keep as much outdoors as possible, but all around us are children playing,” the teacher outlines the impossible choices he faces every day.
On top of that, organizing and managing his class is very difficult this way, says Job. “You don’t have places where you can put books or let the children work separately. This is an ongoing search. Very inconvenient.” However, according to Jobe, it is not the teachers who suffer the most, but the students. “As a teacher, you see it over and over again, but I wonder if policy makers are aware of that and see it as good enough.” It can lead to unequal opportunities because children learn less well, Job argues. “Purely because of this building.”
“Actually, this is not possible.”
Meanwhile, Miss Mildred is giving handicraft lessons in the Teachers’ Lounge. “I’m glad I have a place,” says the craft teacher, “but it’s not actually possible.”
It is really full, Hans sums up the situation. And in the very short term, more space is needed because his school continues to grow, the principal knows. “We didn’t expect this growth. But in fact there should have been another building two years ago. And it still doesn’t exist.”
Principal van Suest sees the changes both at Arnhem College and among the responsible administrators “too much delay” in the process. “Before people settled down again, I was months or years later.” Therefore, you are very dependent on the puppets that are within the municipality, he admits.
Hans sees that there seems to be a sense of urgency. “But I wonder if people really understand what’s needed here.” He also sees practical objections in Arnhem North. Hans wonders how much space could be freed up to be suitable for his school. “These places are not within reach.”
If a site is now available and also requires a lot of renovation, you’ll spend another year, Hannes knows. “We don’t have that year. We’ll have another class from August 1. There’s no place for that.”
The Director of Education realizes that he will not escape from a temporary place for the coming years. “But always together with a final perspective for this school. I’m talking about new construction,” he explains his expectations for the municipality.
No confidence yet
Is he confident that all of this will really be arranged in a few months? “Not yet no,” Hans admits after a short pause. He hopes that a meeting with local councilman Nermina Kondik scheduled soon will ensure sufficient action.
For now, Kundic only says it will “go into discussions with every school looking for a location to look for a solution.” “So far too.”
Watch here how serious the situation is at the school, via RTV Connect:
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