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Kosovo Pupils do Better in English Than Own Tongue

Kosovo pupils achieved higher results in English than in their mother tongues in a national primary education test – though not everyone takes the results too seriously.

Ervin Qafmolla
BIRN
Kosovo Ministry of Education. Photo: BIRN

As Kosovo held a general multi-subject test for the 9th and last year of primary education, the majority of students did much better in English than in their mother tongues at national level.

While students scored a 64.7 per cent level of achievement in their mother tongue, the English language score was 77.9 per cent, with a difference of more than 13 per cent in the favour of English.

The Kosovo Ministry of Education published this data on Monday, saying that the overall level of achievement was 64.7 percent.

While Kosovo Serbs operate a de-facto separate education system, the statistic also include other minorities integrated in the Kosovo education system, such as Bosnians and Turks as well as Albanian-speakers.

The second subject with the highest score was Informatics, with an achievement rate of 72.9 percent, while all other subjects such as math, history and biology scored less than 70 per cent.

These results follow the trend of those of the 2015 test, where students scored 85.8 per cent achievement in English and only 63.9 in their mother tongue.

Kosovo sociology and linguistics expert contacted by BIRN said there may be a connection between the high scores in both English and Informatics, which may be related to the use of IT by younger generations.

However, they declined to provide a direct assessment of the alleged connection, saying the matter required comprehensive study.

Bardh Rugova, a professor of the Albanian language in the University of Pristina, said the results are not to be taken too seriously.

“Kosovo institutions evaluate nine years of primary studies in a single test where pupils are basically allowed to cheat, so these figures mean nothing,” Rugova told BIRN.

About 33,400 primary education students participated in the test which was held on May 21, and 33,102 passed the exams.

– See more at: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/kosovo-pupils-better-at-english-than-mother-tongue-05-30-2016#sthash.BXMqZM8m.dpuf

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