Documentary: Onderdrukt(1): The Shadow Side of the Educational System

Why have classrooms been the same for 300 years, how did classroom education originate and why is education compulsory? An education system that is focused on performance and selection, resulting in enormous pressure on students with disastrous consequences such as depression and burnouts. But also possible solutions, a look at alternative forms of education at home and abroad that can make a difference for future generations. The documentary Onderdruk(t) is very suitable as educational material with room for discussion.


In the groundbreaking documentary series “Onderdrukt(1): The Shadow Side of the Education System”, filmmaker Zeno Groenewegen unravels the invisible sides of the current education model. This series did not just come about; it is the result of Groenewegen’s in-depth observations and personal experiences with the education system that he believes undermines creativity and initiative.

Background and motivation

Groenewegen illustrates how the education system in its current form trains students to be nothing more than obedient learners, stifling their natural curiosity and ability to innovate. He highlights how this approach leads to mental exhaustion, loss of motivation and declining performance. Through conversations with teachers, educationalists and students from eight different countries, he emphasizes a universal crisis in education.

Education system: Creativity stifled

The documentary shows that the pressure to perform and constantly meet the expectations of others robs young people of their creative and initiative-rich selves. The system, described as a ‘prison’ of conformity, forces students to spend 14 to 20 years of their lives following orders, rather than developing their own potential.

Plea for educational innovation

Groenewegen’s “Oppressed” is more than a critical look at the education system; it is a call to action. With this series he aims to create a space for discussion and reflection, with the ultimate goal of transforming the education system. His vision is focused on a future in which education stimulates the growth of individual creativity and initiative, for the benefit of future generations. This documentary series is a must-watch for anyone involved or interested in the future of education. Groenewegen encourages viewers to share this important message on social media to promote broader awareness and change.

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