Since 2006, citizenship is a mandatory subject at schools for primary, secondary and special education (as laid down in Article 8.3 of the Primary Education Act, Article 17 of the Secondary Education Act and Article 11.3 of the Expertise Centres Act). Within this subject, the starting point is that pupils grow up in a pluriform society. Active citizenship and social integration should be promoted and pupils should be aware of the different backgrounds and cultures of their peers.
Within citizenship education, diversity is a theme in the broad sense of the word: from cultural to sexual diversity. Citizenship is not a separate course, but needs to be integrated in other courses or projects. Therefore, the amount of attention paid to citizenship and diversity differs per school. In 2018, the Minister of Education announced that the current law on citizenship education will be amended in order to specify the schools’ tasks regarding this subject. Recent research suggests that most schools regard cultural diversity as beneficial and do address the subject in the classroom. This is particularly the case if a large proportion of the pupils has an immigrant background.
for secondary vocational education (MBO) also need to teach their students
about good citizenship (as laid down in Article 1.2.1 of the Education and Vocational Education Act),
which includes themes such as democracy, tolerance and freedom of expression.
In September 2017, Minister of Culture Van Engelshoven and the Council for
Vocational Education and Training (MBO Raad) signed the MBO citizenship agenda (2017-2021), which is aimed at
improving citizenship education. In December 2018, Van Engelshoven announced a law amendment in order
to include the acceptance of ethnic, religious, sexual and gender diversity in
secondary vocational education.
Diversity is also present in Dutch arts
education, both formal and non-formal. Students can learn about world music and
international dance, or more modern dance styles like urban and breakdance. At
music schools, foreign instruments like the bağlama are also part of the
 Bulk, Lenie van den. 2019. “Awareness and Consequences of Ethnocultural Diversity in Policy and Cultural Education in the Netherlands.” In Arts and Cultural Education in a World of Diversity: Yearbook of the European Network of Observatories in the Field of Arts and Cultural Education (ENO). Cham: Springer.