13 September 2023
With 15 votes in favour today, MPs from the Education Committee unanimously backed Ombudsman Diana Kovacheva's proposal to give high school graduates a second chance to score better at the matriculation exam, which is used for admission to higher education. The proposal was tabled by the chairman of the Committee Krasimir Valchev (GERB) and a group of MPs: Denitsa Sacheva (GERB), Prof. Kostadin Angelov (GERB), Elisaveta Belobradova (PP-DB), Neli Dimitrova (PP-DB), Hristo Daskalov (PP-DB), Byunyamin Hassan (PP-DB), Ivaylo Mitkovski (PP-DB) and Vanina Vetzina (PP-DB).
The reason for this amendment was the increasing number of complaints and signals received by the public defender's institution from parents and high school students, according to whom it was unacceptable not to have a second chance to take the mandatory high school matriculation exam in order to raise their score. Parents insisted that their children should have the opportunity to raise their matriculation score, as it previously remained "for life", without any possibility of correction.
“The lack of opportunity for students who did not perform well in the matriculation exam, except for those who received a "Poor" grade, to have a chance to correct their score, inhibits their further development. The score received from the mandatory matriculation exam is final and decisive for their application to higher education and, respectively, of great importance for their future. The impossibility, according to the current regulations, for high school graduates to improve their result from the mandatory matriculation exam by retaking the exam to increase their score, has negative effects on their application to higher education”, this is how the Ombudsman argued her proposal.
It should be recalled that at the end of November this year, Ombudsman Diana Kovacheva submitted to the 48th National Assembly a legislative amendment to Article 132 of the Pre-school and School Education Act, as well as an addition to the provision of Article 68, paragraph 1, item 2 of the Higher Education Act, which received the approval of the relevan Parliamentary Committee on first reading, but there was not enough time for their final adoption.
In June this year Prof. Kovacheva again submitted her proposal to the 49th National Assembly to the chairman Rosen Zhelyazkov and to the members of the Education and Science Committee, insisting that students who are not satisfied with their matriculation scores should be able to retake the exam to raise their scores.