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11,000 students failed to pass school-leaving exams in Georgia

Most of the students have problems with technical subjects

About 11,000 students have failed to overcome the 5.5-point competence barrier at the school-leaving exams for the academic year 2016-2017 – Alexander Jejelava, the Georgian Education Minister, reported.

The school-leaving exams were conducted in 1 500 schools across Georgia, from 21 May through to 24 May. More than 47,000 students took the exams and nearly 20% failed to pass them.

According to the Georgian National Assessment and Examinations Center (NAEC), this year’s test results were almost the same as last year. The students who failed at the exams last year, took the school-leaving exams again, but some of them failed to overcome the competence barrier this year too. Students who failed at last year’s exams, were also required to take the exams in the 11th grade subjects.

The school-leaving (12th grade) exams were conducted in the following subjects: Georgian Language & Literature, Math, Foreign Language, History, Biology, Geography, Physics and Chemistry. As Minister Jejelava pointed out, the students mostly had problems with technical subjects.

“They find technical subjects more difficult than humanitarian ones. There are complaints from time to time that the exam content doesn’t match the program, which is not true. It mostly implies that a student might not have dealt with that particular task in the past. The computer adapted test system doesn’t mean that the tests proceed with standard tasks. It is designed to show to what extent a student can use his/her knowledge,” Jijelava told journalists.

According to the Education Minister, the test results were not that bad. He provided an example of Germany, where, in his words, only 30% of school students manage to obtain a complete 12-grade certificate. Whereas in Georgia, this rate is 80%. The Minister called on school-leavers to focus more on crafts and enroll in vocational schools.

“For them, it’s a perfect opportunity and a shortcut to the labor market, to have a decent professional life,” said Jejelava.

The school-leaving qualifying exams were introduced in Georgian schools in 2010. The National Assessment and Exams Center is in charge of the school-leaving exam’s contextual, administrative and technical (programming) aspects.

Since 2013, the school-leaving exams have been held in two stages, in 11th and 12th grades. At the end of the academic year, the 11th grade students take exams in the subjects (physics, chemistry, biology, geography) that they have already completed. As for the four remaining subjects (maths, Georgian language & literature, foreign languages and history), the school students take tests in the aforesaid subjects when finishing school.

The 11th grade qualifying exams will begin on 19 June.

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