Japan drops in OECD scholastic ranking; China leads in all categories

Luc Rollmann  RTL

Luc Rollmann RTL

The UK as a whole ranked higher for reading and science than it did three years ago, coming 14th place in the global rankings for both in the most recent Pisa test up from 22nd and 15th respectively.

According to him, its performance in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), its ranking improved significantly for all three domains, namely Science, Mathematics and Reading literacies.

In Kosovo's only previous participation in PISA in 2015, the average score from the assessment was also among the lowest three of the countries tested.

Out of the 79 countries and territories, only Albania, Colombia, Macau, Moldova, Peru, Portugal and Qatar had seen an improvement in their scores since joining in program, and only Portugal is a member of the OECD.

And for about as long, the exam has faced a chorus of skeptics who caution reading too deeply in to the results.

Among students from all socio-economic backgrounds, average achievement has declined, there are more low performers and fewer high performers.

On Singapore losing top spot in the rankings, Mr Sng said: "We didn't take part in the Pisa to try to beat every country". In China, meanwhile, 12,058 students from 361 schools in the four provincial-level regions were randomly selected by OECD to take the test.

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Reading scores for Japanese and South Korean students, however, fell from 2015. In both reading and science, a negligible amount of students in Kosovo managed to reach the highest levels possible, 5 and 6, while 1 per cent managed to do so in mathematics.

"One in four students in OECD countries are unable to complete even the most basic reading tasks, meaning they are likely to struggle to find their way through life in an increasingly volatile, digital world", it added.

Swiss education officials say more needs to be done to improve the "less-than-satisfactory" situation. "The rankings are telling", Carr said. At 484 points, it was below the mean of 487 points - and there was a drop of eight points on the last test in 2015.

Slovenian students are also less motivated than their OECD peers worldwide - compared to 2009, the students' enjoyment experienced during reading in 2018 remained below the OECD average, with the students often expressing disappointment over the engagement and support of their teachers of the Slovenian language. Australia performed the equivalent of more than 3.5 years of schooling lower than the highest performing economy, Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang (China), and around three years lower than the highest performing country, Singapore.

"It's another red flag that this is something to think about", Carr said. Economists have found mounting evidence that the gap in scores between countries reflects a gap in effort as much as it does a gap in achievement.

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) released a joint statement in which they acknowledged the 2018 results.

Some experts cautioned the USA shouldn't panic since American students are less motivated to perform well on the test. A lack of test endurance. The United States fits somewhere between the extremes.

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