Dutch-language programs for Dutch expatriate children

O4NT International, a spinoff from a Dutch foundation that promotes distance learning through iPad apps, plans to offer Dutch-language programs for Dutch expatriate children.

“It can be difficult to find a good school abroad,” Juul Manders, the company founder, said in a telephone interview. To fill that gap, he plans to offer online access to Dutch course material and teachers. The aim is to keep expatriate children aligned with the Dutch curriculum, Mr Manders said, easing their re-entry to the school system when they return.

Start-up is planned for early next year. The enrollment fee has not been set yet.

Gepubliceerd op The New York Times op 1 september 2013 en in de International Herald Tribune op 2 september 2013

Tablets in Dutch Schools Usher in a New Era

EGMOND-BINNEN, The Netherlands — Some of Robin Smorenberg’s students were shooting aliens on their iPads. “Ooh, I almost died!” one of them exclaimed at De Windhoek, the only primary school in the small Dutch town of Egmond-Binnen.

But Mr. Smorenberg did not mind. He had instructed his students to download the game, Math Evolve, which is part of the curriculum and which requires players to both shoot aliens and collect numbers that add up to a certain figure.

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As Hungary’s electoral campaigns kick into gear, public apathy abounds

Dome of the Hungarian parliament, Budapest. (Photo Peter Teffer)
Dome of the Hungarian parliament, Budapest. (Photo Peter Teffer)

Although Hungary’s next parliamentary election is more than a year off, you would be forgiven for thinking that election season was already well under way.

Already the ruling right-wing Fidesz party, led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and the leading opposition party, the Hungarian Socialist Party, which was in power from 2002 to 2010, have begun to trade barbs in anticipation of next spring’s elections.

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Hungary says its press freedom is ‘completely perfect.’ Europe disagrees.

Many Hungarian journalists write freely without fear of persecution. But Hungary has come under ongoing criticism from various press freedom advocates.
Many Hungarian journalists write freely without fear of persecution. But Hungary has come under ongoing criticism from various press freedom advocates. (Photos Peter Teffer)

When the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee called last week for Europe to regularly investigate journalist freedom across the EU, it didn’t name any particular country to watch. But if there has been one European nation that has been criticized for changing its media laws in the past years, it’s Hungary.

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Students Receive Subsidized Studies in Hungary — for a Price

BUDAPEST — Daniel Szabo and Gergo Birtalan are both optimistic about their job prospects in their native Hungary, which has a low unemployment rate for college and university graduates. But the two Hungarian students are in totally different situations.

When Mr. Szabo, 24, graduates soon from law school, he will be free to go wherever in the world he wants. But Mr. Birtalan, 18, was required to sign a contract at the beginning of his first year as a sociology major because of a new rule introduced in September. As a beneficiary of the state-funded university system, he will be obliged to work for two years in Hungary for every year of his subsidized studies.

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Should ‘good’ hackers be protected by law?

Henk Krol does not fit the stereotype of a computer hacker. He’s not even that good with technology.

“I am quite the nitwit when it comes to computers,” says the recently elected Dutch parliamentarian of 50PLUS, a party that advocates the interest of the elderly.

But Mr. Krol is facing criminal charges of “digital trespassing” in the Netherlands, thanks to his efforts to bring to light a security hole in a medical research center website. That act has put him squarely amid a Dutch debate over whether to protect “ethical hackers”: hackers who act to find and report security holes to server owners.

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