Costa Rica News – The Ministry of Public Education is making a big change. The baccalaureate exam will no longer be an obstacle to graduation. The test will still be a requirement but one can graduate without passing it.
The main reason for this alteration is because the way students are being taught has changed drastically. They are no longer taught facts to memorize for tests rather the focus is on the development of skills emphasizing critical thinking and problem solving.
The tests will also serve to see which schools need to improve. Rather than punish the students, changes can be made on an institutional level. They’ll also be used to see problems in the educational system country-wide. For instance, 30% of students fail the math test while 10% fail the other subjects. This points to the fact that students who put in the effort to pass most tests are still failing math and might not be learning the material adequately to begin with. 30% failure cannot be attributed to the students and they shouldn’t be punished for problems in the educational system.
One question that’s been raised is why students would bother studying for it if it doesn’t seem to count for anything. The MEP believes that they will study because they’ll be able to show their scores to places of higher education or employment to prove their abilities in each subject.