The final exams have begin for highschools in the Netherlands, and as usual there are many complaints about the exams. Most of the complaints are about the conditions of the classroom and errors in the questions. This year around 200.000 students are taking part and with four days to go the number of complaints is at 107.000.
The number of complaints is ridiculous, but about the same as last year. This year however, there are a few unusual and quite worrying complaints, about the words used in the questions. Unusual, complex words like 'sidenote' and 'partial'.
It probably sounds snobbish but how the hell can you live to be 16 and never encounter the words 'sidenote' or 'partial'? Ok, 'partial' does have two dutch counterparts, 'partieel' and 'gedeeltelijk', but still, 16 years without ever encountering 'partieel'?
Is our education system failing or are students getting more stupid? My fear is the latter, because they belong to the google generation that uses their phone to live their lives. There is no margin to put a sidenote into, and the internet does not use long words because they simply don't fit on the tiny screens.
So, if you want to gro up with a working brain: lose the phone!