One in three immigrant boys failing basic graduation exams

May 4th, 2015

This article is more than 9 years old.

Poor performance leaves many boys with few job and education options

Immigrant boys are not getting the most out of their time at school (photo: Malene Thyssen)

A third of immigrant boys are failing the basic 9th grade exit exam, according to analysis by workers’ group Arbejdernes Erhvervsråd (AE).

“Something is clearly wrong if only two out of three immigrant boys are passing this exam,” AE’s chief analyst Mie Dalskov Pihl told DR Nyheder.

Many factors involved
Pihl said that the kids’ performance was affected by a combination of their cultural and social backgrounds.

“They often have poorly-educated parents or parents who are out of work along with some cultural barriers,” said Pihl. “If you arrive in the country with a language other than Danish, it can be difficult to pass Danish and mathematics in the 9th grade.”

Jacob Nielsen Arendt, an analyst at national research institute Kora, told DR Nyheder that the failure rate is bad for society as a whole.

“When you fail public school it becomes harder to receive further education and, ultimately, a job.”

“This is not only bad for the young people who do not reach their full potential, but for society as a whole.”

Girls outperform boys across the board
While immigrant girls outperform immigrant boys, ethnic Danish girls also do better than ethnic Danish boys.

READ MORE: Immigrant boys are under pressure from society and their parents

“Apparently we have a school system that is better for girls,” said Pihl.

“We need to invest more effort in the subjects of Danish and mathematics. It is hard to move on if you cannot read and write.”


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