New challenges for the schools; Three big changes await students and parents
After the coronavirus epidemic, combined and online classes, a wave of peer violence, and the great tragedy in "Ribnikar", schools are awaiting numerous changesSource: Blic
As Blic writes, the three biggest changes are related to the earlier end of the school year for all students in Serbia, the postponement of the major or state graduation, but also significant changes to the minor graduation that will be held in a little more than two weeks.
It is recalled that the Government of Serbia decided at the end of last week that due to the tragedy in "Ribnikar" and everything that happened after that, the school year would be shortened and that the last working day would be Tuesday, June 6.
However, all schools will continue to work until June 20, when classes were scheduled to end according to the calendar, and students who wish to do so will be able to come to their educational institutions regularly or when it suits them (when they agree with the teachers) in order to possibly improve grades.
By tomorrow (Tuesday), all teachers should decide on the final grade proposal (if the grades are "on a swing", i.e. if the teacher is in doubt whether to give a higher or lower grade - he will give a higher grade), after which the students who wish to do so will have the opportunity to fix them.
Extended stay in schools, where it exists, will also be organized until June 20, with the recommendation that the school make a survey of parents and, and based on those results, organize the work of extended stay. It's the same with full-day classes.
The introduction of the state or grand graduation has officially been postponed for another two years, so in the best case scenario, instead of the next summer as predicted by the school calendar, it could have its premiere in June 2026.
It was originally designed according to the junior high school graduation system, only instead of enrolling in high schools, enrollment in colleges would depend on the results. However, the authorities faced the first problem because many faculties, especially those in which there is great interest, rejected such a possibility.
Ministry of Education was forced to make concessions after which, in the opinion of many, the state graduation is quite meaningless. Namely, it is allowed for faculties that wish to, in addition to the state matriculation exam, to organize an additional test of the candidate's aptitude and ability, only that it will not be called an entrance exam but an "aptitude test".
And then, at the end of last month, it was announced that the state graduation is being postponed for another two years, to June 2026.
The first major change that was introduced in schools is related to the junior high school graduation, and we will have the opportunity to see what it will look like in a little more than two weeks, from June 21 to 23, when the current eighth graders will take it.
The main novelty is that, in addition to Serbian/mother tongue and mathematics, students who have completed elementary school will no longer have a combined test, but will choose one of five subjects (geography, history, biology, physics and chemistry).
More precisely, they already chose the subject at the beginning of the year. Most of the junior high school graduates, 38 percent, chose biology, 29 percent opted for geography, about 16 percent for history, nine percent applied to take chemistry, and the least, only eight percent, opted for physics.
When it comes to scoring, it remains the same, but with minor changes. Students will still be able to score a maximum of 100 points, 60 on the basis of success in elementary school and 40 on the final exam, i.e. small graduations.
However, the tests themselves will be scored differently. Namely, until this year, tests in Serbian/mother tongue and mathematics were worth a maximum of 13 points each, and a combined 14. According to the new, students will be able to earn 14 points in Serbian and mathematics, and in the third selected test in biology, geography, chemistry, physics or history "only" 12.
All tests will have the same number of questions as before, 20 each, but a different calculation will be applied.
After the resignation of Branko Ružić, the current minister without portfolio, Djordje Milićević (SPS), was appointed acting minister of education. However, by all accounts, he will not stay long in that position, which normally belongs to the Socialist Party of Serbia. Namely, as the leader of the socialists Ivica Dacic disclosed, they have at least four serious candidates for this position.