Minister scraps central exams; school exams to determine pass or fail

The central exams for all school levels are scrapped for this year, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education announced in a press conference on Tuesday. The school exams will be leading in whether pupils pass or fail, and schools will be given more space to have pupils take these exams until early June. 

This decision was necessary due to measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Schools have been closed for over a week and this will likely remain the case for some time yet. The Minister called on schools to, in line with the new measures, have pupils take school exams remotely as much as possible. If necessary, schools can adjust their assessment and graduation program to achieve this. 

In consultation with schools and higher education institutions, the Minister is examining how students entering higher education this year, in the current circumstances, can do so as best prepared as possible.

"We are currently asking a lot of teachers and students," Slob said. "With this far-reaching decision, there is clarity. I want to give all students the opportunity to obtain a full diploma and thereby progress to further education without delay in these times of crisis." Diplomas obtained this year without a central exam will still be considered full diplomas, he added. 

He called on pupils not to stop studying and to keep preparing for their school exams, according to He will make sure that there are opportunities for resits.