Skip to main content

States push back exam boundaries

GERMANY

TWO SOUTHERN German States, Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemberg, are trying to break free from federal guidelines on the standards for the school-leaving exam, the Abitur, because they fear they do not go far enough.

Although they have the smallest proportion of school-leavers passing the exam - 19 per cent compared to a countrywide average of 25 per cent - they cite Germany's poor showing in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study and fear of international competition as a reason to go further than other states to maintain standards.

Last year Baden-Wuerttemberg introduced minimum Abitur grade requirements for university entrance in the state, effectively forcing up standards. Other states may follow their lead.

The two states want a return to a compulsory core curriculum for the Abitur with four or five subjects rather than the three - German, maths and a foreign language at present. Some states have no compulsory subjects, with open choices akin to the A-level system.

Bavaria, which is considered already to have a rigorous Abitur, has said changes will be implemented in the next school year.

, whether or not the ministers conference take them up on the federal level.A new law implemented last year in Baden-Wuerttemberg introduced minimum Abitur grades for university entrance, effectively forcing up Abitur standards in the state. In a climate of education cuts and university reform, other states may follow.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you