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Matura exams – possible changes. The Ministry is working on a draft amendment

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The Ministry of National Education is working on a draft amendment that would delay for another two years – the 2024/2025 and 2025/2026 school years – the condition that to pass the Matura exam it is necessary to obtain a minimum of 30 percent of points in the exam in an additional subject taken at the advanced level.

Information about the preparation by the Ministry of National Education of a draft amendment to the Act on the Education System and certain other acts was published on Friday in the list of legislative and program works of the Council of Ministers. In addition to the Act on the Education System, the following acts are also to be amended: the Education Law Act and the Education Information System Act.

It was reported that the planned date of adoption of the project by the government is the third quarter of 2024.

According to the project being prepared, the period during which it is not necessary to obtain at least 30 percent of the points possible to obtain in the exam in one selected additional subject is to be extended to the school years 2024/2025 and 2025/2026.

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What is going to change?

To pass the Matura exam, a high school graduate must obtain at least 30 percent of points in written exams at the basic level: in Polish, mathematics and a modern foreign language, and two oral exams: in Polish and a foreign language. A high school graduate must also take one exam at the advanced level with the so-called item to choice or additional item. Those interested can take up to five more advanced level exams. In the case of advanced level exams, there is currently no passing threshold. According to the applicable regulations, this was to change from the new school year when it comes to one subject indicated by a high school graduate.

The project under preparation proposes the introduction of the functions of an examiner-verifier (second-check examiner) and an IT laboratory operator as persons involved in conducting examinations.

Currently, verifier examiners function as “ordinary” examiners and are remunerated as such. According to MENit is also necessary to introduce the IT lab operator as the person responsible for preparing the computer lab to conduct the written part and the practical part (computer documentation) of the vocational exam, the exam confirming vocational qualifications and the Matura exam in IT.

Foreign language at the high school leaving exam

The Ministry of Education also wants to provide for the possibility of choosing any modern foreign language taken in the secondary school leaving examination as a compulsory subject, regardless of which language the graduate studied at school.

It also proposes obliging graduates of bilingual branches and schools to take the secondary school leaving examination in a modern foreign language as an additional subject at the bilingual level – in the foreign language they learned at the bilingual level at school.

The project is also to include provisions enabling greater digitization of professional examinations, harmonizing the provisions on the method of transmitting information about the invalidation of an examination, shortening the deadline for viewing examination papers in a professional examination, and extending the scope of the grounds for removing an examiner from the register of examiners.

The issue of textbooks

The prepared project will also include, among others: provisions regarding the approval of textbooks for school use. Repetition-type textbooks (repetorytoria), the purpose of which is to repeat and consolidate teaching content, with a focus on performing exam-type tasks, are to be excluded from the process of approval for school use.

A graphic requirement is to be introduced to mark content in textbooks that goes beyond the scope established in the core curriculum of general education for given classes at a given educational stage. Publishers will also be obliged to post digital copies of paper textbooks approved for school use before January 1, 2020 on the Internet – at their next unchanged edition. Currently, this requirement only applies to textbooks approved after January 1, 2020.

Main photo source: Marcin Bielecki/PAP

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