QCOSTARICA – The Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP) – ministry of Education, continued to receive a wakeup call this year as nearly 12,300 of 38,340 students taking the final exams failed to pass them, a success rate of only 67.92%.
In 2013, the promotion rate was 69.76%.
Students who fail to pass some exams can study the course and take them again.
“Students with the best marks came from science-oriented high schools,” observed Education Minister Sonia Marta Mora, “The high school influences results because students are more motivated when surrounded by professors and schoolmates seeking excellence.”
Indeed, two of the three top scorers on the final (bachillerato) exams were from Alajuela’s Scientific High School: Esteban Alfaro and Genesis Soto. The third was Fernando Rojas who studied at Abundant Life Christian Center. Both are private high schools.
The steadily slipping performances over the years, observed the national newspaper La Nacion, “obliges the Ministry to attack such deficiencies as poor teacher training, study plans and teaching ambiance.” In the last few decades student performance has fallen steadily, only aided by grading on a curve and incorporating the students’ last two years’ grades.
Despite attempts at reform, over the last 18 years, passing grades have been achieved by only 65%. The Minister called for a thorough study of where the system is letting the students down. Occasionally, the exams themselves contain errors and 6.697 appeals produced higher marks for 210 students.
Although student performance in the sciences has caused the most concern in public high schools, a recent study of graduates showed serious deficiencies in English training, including a chronic incompetence of teachers in the subject.
Article by iNews.co.cr
Editor’s note: The public education school year in Costa Rica is from February to December.