Last Junior Lyceum exam held

2,991 boys and girls from government primary schools sat for the last exam for admission to the Junior Lyceums today.

In terms of the reform announced last year, the exam will from next year be replaced by a National Exam for a smoother transition from primary to secondary school.

The Education Ministry explained that instead of separating the best students from the rest, as was happening at present, the new system would be more inclusive, grouping all the children. The reform would include changes to the national curriculum so as to meet the preferences of all children. In this way, it was hoped that more children would continue to study after secondary school.

The ministry pointed out that when Junior Lyceum exams were introduced in 1981 children used to be examined in Maltese, English and Maths. The pass rate was around 30 per cent. Six years later that had risen to 43.37 per cent. In 1988 the exams were extended to include religion and social studies. By 1996 the pass rate was 50 per cent and it was 70 per cent last year.

The social studies exam will not be held this year, and students who fail one subject will be allowed a resit.

In the National Exam, children will be tested in Maltese, English, and Maths. Maltese and English will include oral tests. Secondary school classes will be mixed ability.

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