Worldwide ranking for our students goes up for reading, maths, science

Luc Rollmann  RTL

Results from the 2018 benchmarking study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) were released yesterday.

Norway's school children performed worse in reading and science in the latest edition of the Pisa education ranking for OECD countries, and are also lagging a little behind their Nordic neighbours.

When Indonesia first participated in PISA in 2001, the sample covered only 46 percent of 15-year-olds, while in the 2018 report, the PISA sample covered 85 percent of 15-year-olds in the country.

Among OECD countries, 67 percent of students reported being satisfied with their lives, down 5 percentage points from 2015.

The ACT recorded the best scores well above the national average with 535 in reading, 515 in maths and 533 for science.

Secondary Principals Association president Deidre Shea said schools were certainly seeing more challenging students than in the past but it was not because schools lacked discipline. "And they did as well as the 10% most advantaged students in some of those countries".

Maths skills slid back at least a year as performance dropped across the nation with significant declines in South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

"Reading proficiency is essential for a wide variety of human activities - from following instructions in a manual; to finding out the who, what, when, where and why of an event; to communicating with others for a specific goal or transaction", said OECD.

This is slightly below the OECD average of 63 per cent.

Top 3 in all three categories for PISA 2018.

Malaysia's performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2018 has improved.

"However, the percentage of Malaysian students reading and searching for information online has increased significantly, and nearly equals the OECD average", he said.

In reading performance, 15-year-olds in Denmark score 501 points compared to an average of 487 points in OECD countries.

Compared to Singapore, Australians were one-and-one-third of a year lower in reading, around three years lower in maths and around one-and-three-quarter years lower in science. "We need to make sure that like other high-performing countries we're attracting our best and brightest into teaching degrees at university", she said.

The reading literacy test goes beyond traditional reading to include online documents, websites and social media involving the use of literacy skills that would not have been common in 2000, when PISA was started.

China, represented by students in Beijing and Shanghai, and Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, occupied top spots in all three categories.

They have become the most influential rankings in global education.

"I think Singapore's education is a high-stakes system".

But he also noted there are different perceptions of the word "failure", which may extend to non-academic areas.

"We shouldn't forget that one out of six leave school without adequate reading capabilities, so even if the overall numbers look good, they help cover up big challenges facing the Danish school system".



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