It leads to the final exams in high schools that year, in France baccalauréat called, do not continue. Normally, the final exam consists of oral and theoretical tests, spread over several days, with which students get access to the university. However, due to the unrest, only two oral tests were taken in 1968 by the final exam students.
That year, thirty percent more students make it downsized baccalaureát, and end up at the university. They are mainly students from middle-class families, according to research by the University of Bonn. If the test hadn’t eased, they wouldn’t have made it. Later in life, this group appears to do higher education, earn more and pass it on to the next generation.
Failure to proceed baccalaureát so gave students from a lower social environment the opportunity to show what they had to offer in their further education, says education journalist Anja Vink. “At that point they let go of all the selection criteria. It turns out that this has enormous advantages, especially for young people from lower backgrounds. An additional year of study alone has major consequences for their future.”
Will Minister Slob’s decision also have such an effect? That is of course the big question now, says educational sociologist Herman van de Werfhorst. He conducts research into social differences in education and is already looking forward to following the career path of graduate students in 2020.
“The study of French students shows that if you ‘give away’ diplomas relatively easily, people will benefit from them. So it could turn out positively, but the question is whether the French situation at that time is so comparable to that of today. “
Because the students of the current exam year do have to complete the school exams to get their diploma. And that can make a difference, according to van de Werfhorst. “We know that boys who generally make school exams worse than girls, and more often make a final sprint at the central final exams. For them, staying away from the final exams can be disadvantageous.”
Final test group 8 greater missing
Anja Vink also thinks that the current situation cannot be compared one-on-one with that in France, because of this difference. “Moreover, we are now fifty years further”. According to Vink, it can be a reason to take a critical look at the selection in education, “because the Netherlands is a country with many selection moments”.
Vink and Van de Werfhorst are more concerned about the loss of the final test in group 8 than about the final exams. “It is known about the final test that the school advice, especially from disadvantaged pupils, will still be adjusted after a well-done test.” It is precisely the disappearance of that test that is a potential problem for equal opportunities, because the potentially subjective school advice from the teacher is less likely to be adjusted.
Back to secondary education. It is therefore uncertain whether Minister Slob’s decision will be just as beneficial as it was in France in 1968. For the time being, the far-reaching decisions of the past few weeks are mainly interesting research material for the future.