More kids are failing school exams

THE PERCENTAGE of Portuguese primary and secondary school pupils flunking their exams is rising, according to a new study.

The latest figures, released by the Ministry of Education, show that the number of students failing primary examinations stood at 7.5 per cent in 1994/1995, climbing to 10.1 per cent in 1999/2000. The secondary school situation is even worse with the figure standing at 8.4 per cent in 1994/1995 and soaring to 21.4 per cent in 1999/2000. At the secondary school level, the pupils most likely to fail are in the 12th year with 28 per cent fail rates. Technology courses are among the areas where students are most likely to fail and have to retake, skyrocketing to 30.4 per cent in 2000.

Adriano Teixeira de Sousa, of teachers’ association Fenprof, says that the failure of students to make the grade is to do with the “poor educational structure and system in Portugal. Schools simply don’t have enough pedagogical independence to take their own measures, while parents seem to have less time on their hands to follow and monitor their children’s progress”.

The Education Ministry, despite not revealing more up-to-date figures, accepted that the position probably hadn’t improved since 2000. C.G.