In 2003 the first vmbo (lower secondary general and vocational training) exams were held and, with 60 percent, vmbo pupils at once accounted for the largest category of exam candidates in secondary education. The pass rate for vmbo pupils was 94 percent.
Boys opt for technical subjects, girls for care and welfare
In 2003 some 48 thousand boys and 43 thousand girls passed the vmbo exam, 40 percent of boys and 44 percent of girls attended the theoretical programme. In the vocational programme most boys opted for technical subjects, most girls for care and welfare. Both sectors together accounted for more than one third of passes. The group of pupils who choose the sector economy was much smaller, one fifth of boys and girls alike.
Passes vmbo exam by subjects taken, 2003
Many non-western foreigners fail the vmbo exam
In 2003 6 percent of candidates failed the vmbo exam. With 12 percent, the fail rate was particularly high among non-western foreigners, three times as high as among native Dutch pupils. The fail rate for girls was 5 percent, for boys 6 percent. Girls who attended the vocational programme did slightly better than boys.
Share of failed exam candidates in vmbo, 2003
Most foreign pupils opt for basic vocational programme
In 2003 more than 15 thousand non-western foreign pupils took the vmbo exam. Most of them attended the basic vocational training. One in five boys and one in four girls had a non-western ethnic background. In vmbo non-western foreign pupils were poorly represented in the combined theoretical and vocational programme.
Share of foreign vmbo exam candidates by programme, 2003
The more than 5 thousand western foreign exam candidates were more evenly spread across the various types vmbo programmes. Among western foreigners both male and female vmbo pupils were best represented in the theoretical programme.
Theo van Miltenburg