Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

ENCORE!

Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Netanyahu resists international pressure to stop air strikes on Gaza

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

  • French ‘Civic Service’ eyes massive expansion amid huge demand

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Europe lags behind Asia in OECD education rankings

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-03

Asian nations lead the world in mathematics, reading and science education, according to the latest OECD student survey released Tuesday. Only one European country, Finland, made it into the top five, scoring fifth in science.

Asian nations lead the world in mathematics, reading and science education, according to the triennial student survey released Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Shanghai led the rankings with Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Korea, Macao and Japan also scoring high marks in mathematics, reading and science, the report said.

Students in Shanghai outstripped the competition in mathematics, demonstrating nearly three years of schooling beyond the OECD average.

The Programme in International Student Assessment (PISA) tested the maths, reading and science knowledge of some 510,000 students aged 15 in the OECD’s 34 member nations as well as in 31 other countries, mostly in the developed world.

Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands also made it into the top 10 best-performing education systems while Germany and Poland made significant progress, the survey showed. Germany’s below-average showing in 2000 led to reforms that have returned it to among the best-ranked nations.

Students in Britain scored the exact average in maths, with their counterparts in France scoring slightly better. The United States trailed in maths and were average in reading and science.

The report noted improvements in maths skills in Italy, Poland and Portugal since the last survey but noted declines in both Sweden and Finland.

Only one European country, Finland, made it into the top five in any category, scoring fifth in science.

Using teachers well

In contrast to previous years, the OECD survey found that students in East Asia are now more willing to extrapolate from what they are taught and use their knowledge creatively, instead of simply memorising facts and figures.

“Many Asian systems have been able to overcome the stereotypes of rote learning,” the OECD’s head of education, Andreas Schleicher, told Reuters.

Schleicher said the right allocation of resources had made a big difference in the high-scoring Asian countries, noting that well-qualified teachers are often sent to disadvantaged schools to help raise the standards of schools that are slipping.

“They basically succeed in attracting the most talented teachers to the most challenging classrooms [and] they get really great principals in the tough schools,” he said.

Successful school systems also tend to share resources more equitably between the advantaged and disadvantaged schools, suggesting that high scores stem not just from how much a country spends on education but on how well it distributes funds.

Relative wealth was also a factor in predicting performance, the survey found, with students from wealthier backgrounds roughly a year ahead of their peers in achievement.

Starting school at an early age also had a positive effect, with students who attended pre-primary school scoring about a year ahead of those who did not. The OECD has recommended that governments subsidise pre-primary education to boost performance in poorer areas.

Schleicher emphasised that high rankings in education bode well for a country’s financial future.

“Your education is your economy tomorrow,” he said. “Our economies increasingly depend on the talent, so those countries are positioning themselves very well.”

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-12-03

  • FRANCE

    France unveils new school 'secularism charter'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    School year begins in France with string of reforms

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Grandes écoles: The making of France’s ruling elite

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)