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13 May 2024

Inspirational Journey: Learning from Dutch Schools

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Imagine a scene at De Meerpaal School in The Hague: around fifty children are outside, playing and laughing. Despite the wind and rain, they spend every break outdoors, enjoying activities like football, exploring playgrounds, and chatting with friends. In the background, two school sheep observe the joyful scene. This is just the beginning of a five-day journey that sparked inspiration and learning.

In April, representatives from Kutná Hora and other pilot regions of Eduzměna embarked on an educational expedition to the Netherlands. Thirty-eight school representatives visited ten schools and participated in expert lectures. Their mission? To draw inspiration from a country known for its emphasis on student well-being and innovative school organization.

They were captivated by the beautiful architecture, modern classrooms with ample natural light, and the sight of Dutch children spending several breaks outdoors every day. In the Netherlands, schools operate with a sense of tranquility, closely collaborating with their communities. Children attend primary school from the age of 4 to 12, experiencing consistent routines without the stress of frequent changes.

Miloš Březina, leading the Mental Health Team in Kutná Hora, noted the emphasis on developing children's socio-emotional skills from an early age. In the Netherlands, children choose their developmental themes and learn to understand their personalities—a fantastic preventive measure against mental health issues.

Lucie Francová, overseeing education and culture in Kutná Hora, highlighted the focus on addressing each student's individual needs, fostering a supportive environment for learning. Šárka Viktorová, representing ZŠ Církvice, was impressed by how Dutch schools involve parents through shared meals and student parliaments, promoting a sense of community and collaboration.

As the group returns home, they carry with them not just memories but a wealth of ideas and inspirations. The question arises: what aspects of this Dutch experience will find their way into Kutná Hora's schools? Perhaps when you see sheep running across the schoolyard, you'll know where the wind of change originates.

*Text and Photography by Lucie Römer*

Media Contact Eduzměna in Kutná Hora:

Zuzana Křivánková, PR Coordinator

Tel: 722 436 550

About Eduzměna

Eduzměna is a charitable foundation that works to improve the education system for children in the Czech Republic. Currently, it has two main projects:

1. Systemic Change in Czech Education: This includes a five-year pilot project in Kutná Hora and Pilot 2.0, which supports four other regions. In Kutná Hora, efforts are focused on improving all schools, involving teachers, principals, students, parents, and administrators.

2. Coordination of Donors in Education and Integration of Ukrainian Refugees:

Eduzměna was founded by the Abakus Foundation - a fund established by the founders of Avast, the Česká spořitelna Foundation, the OSF Foundation, and the Karel Janeček Foundation. Additional donors now support Eduzměna's projects. The Kutná Hora project is budgeted at 216 million Czech korunas, with 101 million already spent on activities in schools, training for leaders and teachers, work with expert partners, and team operations in Kutná Hora and Prague.

Currently, the establishment of the Center for Educational Support (CPV) for Kutná Hora is underway. This center provides systematic support for education in the region, particularly for schools, but also for all other stakeholders involved in education. Its goal is to maintain continuity in supporting school development. The founding partners of the Center for Educational Support are currently Eduzměna Foundation and the Rural Development Association Lípa (which carries out the MAP Kutnohorsko project). Additional local partners will soon be invited, and CPV will be established as an independent organization.

Eduzměna's Achievements in Kutná Hora Include:

- Establishing partnerships with 57 out of 59 schools in various capacities.

- Assisting in the creation and funding of Mental Health Teams for children.

- Responding to teacher requests by providing a "flying speech therapist", facilitating the placement of a new speech therapist in KH, and establishing a methodological center for speech therapy.

- Supporting collaboration among and within schools, with documented collaboration between 28 schools.

- Encouraging preschools to open their doors to colleagues from the region through rotating visits, with increased visits by primary and secondary school teachers.

- Assisting schools in managing the challenges of the COVID-19 and Ukrainian crises.

- Helping create more stimulating environments in eight preschools in line with the principles of the "Start Together" program.

- Supporting school desegregation, including contributions to the Kamenná Stezka Primary School.

- Establishing a Partnership Committee that helps build capacity in the region to make education a local priority, with participation from several active administrators.

- Encouraging schools to involve parents more actively, including in garden renovations.

- Inspiring the "300 Days of Joy" project at Malešov Elementary School, open to all classes at the school, through the Common Challenge program.

For more information, visit:

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