Children don't like to think - this is one of the conclusions from the matriculations
Adelina Marini, 5 June 2009
The expression of personal thoughts and analysis again appears to be a problem for the children that finish school. This is shown by the results of the matriculations that were held for a second consecutive year with main purpose - to make an outside and independent analysis of what's taught at school. According to the analysis of the Ministry of Education, this year the school-leavers have shown preference to answer the so called closed questions, which give suggestions for the answer. The open questions where it is required the pupil to develop its own thoughts have not been answered by a majority of school-leavers.
The score for Bulgarian language and literature (BLL) is lower with 2 pts than last year, but given the fact that the first matriculations were defined by teachers, pupils and experts as too easy, this year's score is normal. According to the minister of education Daniel Valchev, the scores this year are good because they show that children take the matriculations seriously this time and try to prepare themselves for the exams.
The results also show serious problems with the professional schools where the scores are, to put it mildly, catastrophic. That is why minister Valchev said, "elections or not, next week we will have a very thorough discussion about the problems" in the professional schools. He also called on the next minister to pay special attention to those schools.
For a second consecutive year, firs with the highest score on BLL is the American college, followed by the German language school which last year was also in the first ten, where the average score is over 5,60.
Another important conclusion from the second tour of the matriculations is that there were a lot of school-leavers with no particular interest that prefer to choose for the second obligatory exam an easy subject. Thus, this year this was geography which proved a very bad choice for a lot of children. But the biggest issue here is that the results show serious holes in the general knowledge. For example, minister Valchev quote some of the original ideas like the fact that the highest peak in the Rila mountains in Bulgaria proved to be Everest and that cape Kaliakra (at the Black sea) and the rock monument "Madara horseman" appeared to be in the Rodopes (a mountain range in the southwest of Bulgaria). The blame for these holes should be searched not only in the teachers but in parents too, suggested minister Valchev. But euinside would also suggest the content of the text books and the methods of teaching that are still unable to attract the interest of children, especially the grown-ups.