The secondary education success rate fell by more than two percentage points this year compared to the rate before the Corona pandemic. This is evident from the annual examinations monitor for the year 2023 of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
This year the success rate was 89.4 percent. In 2019 and 2018, this percentage reached 92 and 91.9 percent, respectively. In examination years with Corona measures, pass rates were much higher: 98.8 percent (2020), 94.9 percent (2021) and 94.4 percent (2022) of students obtained a diploma.
This year, for the first time, final exam students face the regular final exam as it was before Corona. During Corona times, students can repeat extra material and can use the so-called “rule of thumb”, where they can, as it were, cover up a bad grade with their thumb.
Far fewer HAVO students have succeeded
At HAVO, where the pass rate has always been slightly lower, the decline this year is greater than at other levels. The pass rate fell by as much as 3.9 percentage points. Before final exams begin, many students have already expressed their concerns. LAKS – which represents students’ interests – also said at the beginning of May that it “would not be surprised” if the pass rate was lower.
This year, students were asked to perform a feat similar to before the coronavirus pandemic, while having to deal with procedures during the coronavirus crisis, according to LAKS.
“The students were not prepared for this. For two years, they received much less physical lessons and missed subjects due to online education. The impact was greater for students who did not have a good laptop or a quiet place at home,” says the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Residents of Rafke in The Hague. According to her, schools were not flexible towards students and there was little willingness to help them with their final exams.
The VO Board also expected the pass rate to decline, but looks on the bright side and believes the decline is not so bad. A spokesperson for the secondary education trade association says: “The key question for this class was whether they were ready as these measures had left them less prepared for their final year.”
The Secondary Education Board expects poor preparation to play a lesser role for the next batch of exam students, and that the pass rate will “hopefully return to the old level”.
At the beginning of this year, various organizations asked the House of Representatives to be lenient again and give students the opportunity to repeat an additional subject. But then-Education Minister Wiersma repeatedly stated that he did not feel that way. The Ministry described it at the time as a “difficult choice” for the student’s benefit.
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