‘Introduce standardised testing,’ suggest education scientists
Pupils in Flemish schools should take standardised tests at the end of primary school and periodically during secondary school, according to education scientists in Antwerp
The educational scientists suggested that all students across the region take exactly the same tests, both at the end of primary education and after every grade (two years) of secondary education. They should cover only basic subjects, however, like Dutch and mathematics, they suggested. The tests would have to reflect the grasp of the subject the students should have at that time.
Flanders’ education networks currently organise different kinds of tests at the end of primary school, but there is no standardised tool. The lack of standardised tests is linked to the Belgian constitution, which stipulates that education networks and schools are free to organise their own systems of education.
The government only requires that schools respect the eindtermen – the final requirements for pupils to graduate. UAntwerp points out that the evaluation of students lies nearly entirely in the hands of teachers.
“Complementing the evaluation with an objective test would offer many advantages,” said education science professor Jan Vanhoof. Individual prejudices or preferences are, for example, ruled out in standardised tests, he said.
Education minister Hilde Crevits said that she would examine the possibility of introducing standardised testing.
Photo courtesy KTA 2 Hasselt
million school-going children in 2013
million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013
percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma