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Teachers criticize ministry reversal on brevet exam policy

Teachers criticize ministry reversal on brevet exam policy

Director General of Education and examining commission head, Imad Achkar, right, and two colleagues, gestures at a student undergoing his Brevet exams in late June. (Credit: NNA)

BEIRUT — Public school teachers criticized the Education Ministry’s reversal of a decision to include school exam grades in the final average of the brevet exams Monday. The ministry had reversed the decision after it “learned that some public and private schools handled the issue irresponsibly,” a spokesperson for Education Minister Abbas Halabi told L’Orient Today.

Here’s what we know:

    • Brevet students — students who take state exams to receive diplomas certifying their completion of middle school — sat for their exams in late June after more than two years of COVID-19-fuelled interruptions. To ease the examination procedure, some mitigating measures were put in place, in an attempt to offset the years of deepening, multifaceted crisis, complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

    • As part of the Education Ministry’s mitigation measures for official exams, students had to sit in for only five of the usual nine official exams. It was mandatory for students to take mathematics as well as two language exams — Arabic and English or French. In addition, students were given the option to choose two exams they wished to sit from two groups: sciences (chemistry, biology and physics) and humanities (geography, history and civics).

    • Another step put in place by the Education Ministry was to calculate school test results along with the results of official exams to potentially boost success rates. However, “some schools took advantage of this and forged their students’ grades… to improve [the school’s] success rates,” the ministry’s spokesperson told L’Orient Today.

    • As a result, the decision to take school results into consideration in the final average was reversed. According to the Education Ministry, the percentage of school grades included in the final average was below 10.

    •  According to a statement by the committee of contract teachers in formal basic education, the teachers accused the Education Ministry of having lost its credibility because “the success rate exceeded 90 percent and the rate of those who earned distinctions were above 70 percent [before] the minister decided to cancel the calculation of school grades [which brought] the success rate down to 79 percent, and those who earned distinctions to 47 percent.” 


BEIRUT — Public school teachers criticized the Education Ministry’s reversal of a decision to include school exam grades in the final average of the brevet exams Monday. The ministry had reversed the decision after it “learned that some public and private schools handled the issue irresponsibly,” a spokesperson for Education Minister Abbas Halabi told L’Orient Today. Here’s what we...