Immigrant girls catching up boys at school

The test scores of pupils in their first year of secondary education rose between 1989 and 1999 according to the results of three consecutive cohort surveys. The survey results also show that pupil achievement improved equally for native Dutch boys and girls, while girls from immigrant families nearly caught up with immigrant boys between 1993 and 1999, and even surpassed them on the language test.

Arithmetic: girls catching up

While in 1993 immigrant boys had higher scores for arithmetic, six years later girls from Surinamese, Antillean and Moroccan families had all but caught up with them. Turkish girls had lower achievements than Turkish boys, but the differences diminished here too. For native Dutch pupils, the differences in the scores between boys and girls remained the same since 1989, with girls performing less well.

Language: girls better than boys

In 1993 the scores on the language tests were about equal for non-western immigrant girls and boys. In 1999 immigrant girls, including Turkish girls did significantly better. Surinamese and Antillean girls scored just as high on the language test as native Dutch girls. For native Dutch boys and girls the differences remained the same: the girls did better.

First form language test results for boys and girls

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Information processing: small differences

After lagging behind in the test on information processing in 1993, Surinamese, Antillean and Moroccan girls had slightly higher scores than boys for this test in 1999. Turkish girls did just as well as Turkish boys in 1999, while native Dutch boys still did better than Dutch girls on this part of the test.

Christine Jol