Ministry wants to untie final exams from basic school graduation

Haapsalu Basic School (illustrative).
Haapsalu Basic School (illustrative). Source: Tõnu Tunnel

The Ministry of Education and Research wants to untie basic school final exam results from graduation also this year.

The ministry has sent out for coordination by partners a motion to amend to make final exams mandatory but cause them to have no bearing on whether one graduates high school this academic year.

The proposal will land on the government's desk after coordination and a decision will be made by March 30.

The proposal would see final exam results presented as a percentage of the perfect score this year as suggested by students', teachers' and principals' unions.

Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna (Reform) described the proposal as entirely justified as learning possibilities have been uneven in recent years. "Today's basic school graduates have been forced to study in uncertain conditions in grades 7-9 due to the coronavirus crisis. Outbreaks have seen contact study give way to remote learning and vice versa, while many have been forced to self-isolate for weeks," the minister explained.

She pointed to a Tallinn University study that found 28 percent of students held remote learning to be less effective, with the figure rising to 50 percent for teachers.

Kersna said that the change concerns this year. "Students will be given detailed feedback of their exam performance in the form of a percentage of the perfect score, while no student has to worry about how the exam result affects their graduation."

Exam results were disconnected from graduation also in the previous two academic years.

Editor: Marcus Turovski

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