Debate over school grades heading to Constitutional Court

The restriction of access to school leaving exams for elementary school pupils pushed though by Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič in the amendment to the law on vocational schools is likely to go before the Constitutional Court at the turn of January and February. MP for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) Miroslav Beblavý is preparing a motion, the Sme daily reported on January 7.

The restriction of access to school leaving exams for elementary school pupils pushed though by Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič in the amendment to the law on vocational schools is likely to go before the Constitutional Court at the turn of January and February. MP for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) Miroslav Beblavý is preparing a motion, the Sme daily reported on January 7.

Beblavý says that the new rules are unconstitutional since the only criterion for being accepted into a vocational school is that the grade average from the last two school report cards cannot exceed 2.75. According to him, under such conditions several students will lose the opportunity to take the school leaving exam, Sme wrote.

Moreover, the MP says that the grade average of the last two school report cards says nothing about the ability of students to manage a secondary school culminating in school-leaving exams. He adds that the grades are not objective criteria since they differ from school to school.

Spokesperson for the Education Ministry Michal Kaliňák responded that the measures should improve the quality of education and create conditions whereby the best students are accepted to secondary schools with school leaving exams, Sme wrote.

Except for setting the limits for pupils leaving primary schools, the amendment that came into effect on January 1 set the limits for applicants for the eight-year grammar schools – the median from their school report cards cannot exceed 2.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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