July 8 – July 14, 2013

Higher and secondary schools act inconsistently

The situation has not changed
Higher and secondary schools act inconsistently

The centralized testing results show that the quality of school education is degrading systematically. Due to CT poor results, this year’s competition for admission to universities will be even lower than a year ago. Some specialized educational and agricultural universities may face students’ shortage.

At the beginning of the admission campaign, the Education Ministry announced that the pass grade will be raised for university admission. Forecasts made following CT results, say that many technical institutes will have available free budget places, depending on the results in mathematics and physics. Not all available places may be occupied at philological faculties at pedagogical universities and agriculture faculties at universities. These specialties are generally considered not prestigious.

This year’s general admission to all 54 institutions of higher education in Belarus will be 79.3 thousand people. In 2012, Belarusian universities admitted a little more than 91.6 thousand new students. This year, about 113.5 thousand students took part in the CT, compared with 135.5 thousand in 2012 and 150,000 in 2011.

In the Gomel region the number of students taking CT decreased by about 16% compared with 2012. Experts explain such a significant reduction not only by the decreased number of high school graduates, but also by higher passing grades established for admission to universities. Some students decided not to participate in the CT, knowing that they will be unable to score 15 or 20 points.

In general, about 32.7% of the students taking a math test (72 535 students overall) have not overcome the 15-point threshold. Last year, the minimum 7-point threshold was not overcome by 11.27% of the applicants’ total number. 15-point threshold in physics was not overcome by 37% applicants (35 763 underwent testing). In 2012, the minimum 7-point threshold was not overcome by more than 9%.

Belarus’ history testing results are slightly better: about 14% of applicants managed to collect 20 points out of 100. Mandatory Belarusian and Russian language tests were failed by 5% and 8% applicants respectively. In 2013 32,498 students were undertaking Belarusian language tests and 80,952 – Russian.

In order to be able to apply to a university, applicants will have to score 10 points on ‘Russian language’ or ‘Belarusian language’, 15 points each on ‘Mathematics’, ‘Physics’, ‘Chemistry’, ‘Biology’; 20 points on ‘History of Belarus’, ‘World History of modern times’, ‘Social Science’, ‘Geography’, ‘Foreign languages (English, German, French, Spanish)’. Those planning to apply to technical schools would have to overcome a 1-point threshold in all of the mentioned above subjects as a result of CT.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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