Student failures cost Portugal €660 million per year

Education chiefs have slammed Portugal’s “failures system” – the practice of failing students who don’t get the right grades. They say the system does not work on any level and actually ends up costing the country over €660 million per year. Calling it “education’s most serious problem”, the national education council (CNE) has now drawn up a plan to reduce school failures by half within the next five years.

The plan is the basis of a series of recommendations presented recently to the government.

Said the council’s president David Justino, the highest number of school failures tends to come in the crucial 9th year (the equivalent of UK GCSE levels). As many as 17.7% of pupils fail their 9th year, while 16.5% tend to fail their 7th.

Failures see pupils losing touch with former classmates as they are reintegrated into a younger class feeling “demotivated”, explained Justino.

Indeed, the whole practice of pinning pupils’ results up for all the schools to see is another that comes under CNE criticism.

The last school year (2012/2013) saw 165,000 children fail a school year and, according to CNE, this actually caused more disruption to classrooms than if they had moved up with their friends.