Friday 07 May 2021

Schools call for clarity on exams as some fear 40% of pupils may fail

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Teachers at some schools are worried that up to 40% of pupils taking school leaving exams this year may fail, because of the impact of coronavirus on education, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

In 2019, just 8% of pupils failed their leaving exams, which take place every May.

Ministers confirmed on Tuesday that secondary schools will remain closed until March 2, after the winter half-term holidays. Currently they are open for pupils in their exam years and pupils taking practical subjects.

Despite the limited opening, many pupils have had far fewer lessons than they should have done, the FD points out. Some schools closed earlier because they had a coronavirus outbreak, while others were forced to shut because they did not have proper ventilation systems.

The FD said it is still unclear if the school leaving exams will go ahead, and that some school heads want to either extend the school year, or lower the pass mark threshold.

‘We need to give pupils clarity as soon as possible,’ Karin van Oort, head of the Carmelcollege school group told the FD.

Education minister Arie Slob has pledged to take a decision by February 15.

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