New minimum goals for many secondary pupils

The Flemish Parliament is today approving new minimum goals for the last four years of secondary education.  The goals set out the minimum knowledge and skills pupils must have acquired by the end of the schoolyear.

The minimum goals were last agreed over two decades ago and needed updating.  Goals have been adapted to take account of new knowledge and new applications.  The new goals should also help to prepare pupils who plan to go on to higher education more adequately.  In human sciences e.g. more attention will be paid to statistics.  Many of the goals have been made more ambitious to include digital and financial skills as well as more attention for science, technology and maths.

Sixteen key skills have been identified including Dutch, foreign languages but also legal skills, spatial consciousness, citizenship and media skills.

Filip Moons of the Flemish Association of Maths Teachers explains the impact on his subject: “We went in search of a balance between insight and calculation skills. Do we have to spend so much time on algebra at a time when computers have taken over many tasks?  Isn’t it more important for children to understand more clearly what they are calculating using their computer?”

“We are swamped by data.  We believe it’s important pupils appreciate how to deal with data correctly.  It’s also important for pupils in vocational education. Pupils in vocational education will have to learn more maths.  One in seven Flemings leaves school without basic maths skills and that the new minimum goals will hope to address.”

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