Dozens of schools have better passing grade rates than before the pandemic
More students passed their final exams this year than before the pandemic, despite having to move from classrooms to their bedrooms or kitchen tables for much of the school year. In dozens of schools, all of the students passed their final exams this year, NOS reported.
The majority of schools reported a two to six percent higher pass rate than in years past. Pass rates differed from between 92 to 94 percent at the VWO level, to between 98 to 99 percent at VMBO.
Some 95 percent of students at the Limburg Foundation for Secondary Education (LVO) passed. Previously, that figure was 90 percent. The organization encompasses around 25 schools. Out of 13 school umbrellas reviewed by the NOS, only one reported similar pass rates to before the coronavirus crisis.
The higher success rate is likely due to the opportunity to repeat the final exam two or, in some cases, three times instead of once. “Normally, there is one chance to repeat the final exam”, said Nol Benders, director of the Christian School Community in Groningen. "Now, there were two to three chances to improve."
The possibility to spread the final exams over two time periods of ten days and the opportunity to drop the grade from one core subject could also have played a role. At the Carmel College which comprises around 45 schools across the Netherlands, 500 out of 7,500 students chose to drop a subject this year. At VMBO schools, the majority of students chose to drop math and biology. Students at VWO schools mainly chose to drop biology and economics.
Minister of Education, Arie Slob, praised the students for finished their final exams amidst a pandemic. “The value of the diploma is indisputable, the same as for the diplomas awarded in the years prior”, Slob said at the beginning of July. “The fact that students obtained their diploma during the coronavirus crisis may make their achievement even more impressive.”
The government changed the rules for the final exams for 2020 and 2021 due to the uncertainty the pandemic created around teaching and exam procedures.