School leavers should not take ‘mix and match’ exams: education council

Changing classroom on schoolThe national education council has warned the government not to press ahead with allowing school leavers to take exams at different educational levels, describing the move as ‘hasty and not thought through’.

There are currently three streams of secondary education in the Netherlands: pre-university vwo, pre-college havo and pre-vocational training vmbo.

The Netherlands selects pupils for secondary school streams at the age of 12 and there is concern in educational circles that this has a detrimental effect on late developers.

Earlier this year, the secondary schools council recommended allowing pupils to mix and match subjects. This would mean a pupil could take, say, maths at vwo level and French at havo level.

However, the government’s main advisory body says the plan could have an impact on higher education opportunities and the value of school leaving certificates. It should therefore be dropped, the Onderwijsraad said on Friday.

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