BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine government is assessing the quality of its educational system Tuesday with a test being taken by about 1.4 million public and private school students that has sparked protests by teachers and students, officials said.
The test applies to all students in sixth grade and the final two years of high school.
A “representative sample” of third-grade students is being evaluated, the Education Ministry said in a statement.
The test includes “a questionnaire about related issues, to be filled in by principals, teachers and students, to collect valuable information about some factors that have an impact on learning,” the ministry said.
Teachers unions and educational experts have questioned the test’s goals and the questionnaire’s methodology.
“This is a reductionist study, without the involvement of workers or unions, and it will only serve to create controversy,” union leader Mario Almiron told state news agency Telam.
“The government wants to divide and create rankings of schools and teachers, to show that private education is better,” the union leader said.
Teachers unions and students staged protests at some schools, occupying a high school in the Buenos Aires suburb of Banfield.
The government dismissed the allegations, saying that the test would provide the basis for analyzing changes to improve education.
The test “is not punitive in nature, we do not want to create rankings or comparisons,” said Elena Duro, evaluation secretary at the Education Ministry.