Original Research

Onderwijs in Nederland in coronatijd: Een voorlopige reflectie

Nicolaas A. Broer, Johannes van der Walt
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2847 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2847 | © 2022 Nicolaas A. Broer, Johannes L. van der Walt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 February 2022 | Published: 14 October 2022

About the author(s)

Nicolaas A. Broer, Research Centre, Driestar Christian University of Teacher Education, Gouda, Netherlands
Johannes van der Walt, Unit for Education and Human Rights in Diversity, Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Education in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic: A preliminary reflection. The coronavirus pandemic prompted national governments around the world to take drastic measures. Citizens were invariably informed that these measures were unavoidable. However, the question is whether the measures taken by government can be ethically justified. The purpose of this article is to present the upshot of our reflections on such government measures in the Netherlands during the coronavirus crisis in 2020–2021. Such reflection is essential because pandemics are likely to be more frequent in the future. Our reflections are based on a literature study comprising press conferences, speeches and scholarly articles pertaining to the management of the coronavirus crisis in 2020–2021 in the Netherlands. An ethics framework enabled us to draw preliminary conclusions regarding the measures taken by the Dutch government with respect to the management of education during the crisis. We found that the government had clearly explained the measures to be taken and had rooted them in a set of assumptive values. Those in charge were aware of the consequences of the measures taken with respect to organised education; they also clearly pre-calculated the impact of every measure. The government also acted virtuously in its deployment of resources and announcement of measures to be taken. We conclude that the government fulfilled its duty to manage organised education in an acceptably responsible and virtuous manner.

Contribution: The authors arrive at an answer to the research question by using a theoretical frame of reference based on three ethical approaches. This framework enables them to make ethical judgments regarding the Dutch government’s actions during the first two years of the pandemic, and to proffer a practical assessment of government measures during that period. Their connection of ethics with the teachings of Jesus enables them to also assess the Dutch government’s actions on biblical grounds.


coronavirus crisis; ethics; morality; education; government


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