Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski said on Monday that the fact that 26 percent of pupils failed the primary school math exam points to the low quality of teaching.
Ossinosvki said failure to pass the exam does not mean not graduating. A second test will be taken after failing, and even failing that does not exclude students from graduating.
Center Party MP and former education minister Mailis Reps asked Ossinovski if the exams or the knowledge of the students yo-yos each year, pointing to the fact that only 16 percent failed the exam from 2012-13, compared to 26 percent this year.
Ossinovski said the exam goes through rigorous testing before being finalized, and in recent years more focus has been put on solving real life problems.
“PISA tests show that our pupils do very well in solving easier tasks, but have trouble with questions which demand more creative thinking,” Ossinovski said.
He said the problem lies in crossing over from a fact-based education system to a problem-based system, and the fact that students find math exams hard is due to schools still teaching fact-based math.