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PISA 2018: Cyprus pupils again score below average

December 3, 2019 at 3:50pm
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Pupils in Cyprus fared slightly worse in reading but slightly better in mathematics and science compared to 2015 but still scored below average in the Programme for International Student Assessment –known as PISA  — which was published by the OECD on Tuesday.

The assessment is carried out every three years and the latest report covering 78 countries is for 2018.

PISA 2018 assessed the cumulative outcomes of education and learning at a point at which most children are still enrolled in formal education: the age of 15. The 15-year-olds in the PISA sample must also have been enrolled in an educational institution at grade 7 or higher. All such pupils were eligible to sit the PISA assessment, regardless of the type of educational establishment in which they were enrolled and whether they were enrolled in full-time or part-time education

  • Reading: The OECD average was 487. Pupils in Cyprus scored 424 points, ranking Cyprus 50th of 77 countries (there was no data for Spain). In 2015 Cyprus ranked 47th   
  • Maths: The OECD average was 489. Cyprus scored 451 points and shared 43rd place with Greece among 78 countries. In 2015, it was ranked 49th
  • Science: The OECD average was 489. Cyprus scored 439 points and was ranked 47th of 78 countries, two places up from 49th in 2015.

Other findings:

  • 15-year-old students in four provinces/municipalities of China – Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang – outperformed their peers in all of the other 78 participating education systems – in mathematics and science by a wide margin, and in reading, only Singapore came close. In fact, the 10% most disadvantaged students in these four provinces showed better reading skills than those of the average student in OECD countries, and performed on a par with the 10% most advantaged students in some of them. The report acknowledges that these four provinces in eastern China are far from representing China as a whole, but the size of each compares to that of a typical OECD
    country, and their combined populations amount to over 180 million. What makes their achievement even more remarkable is that the level of income of these four Chinese regions is well below the OECD average. At the same time, they have a long way to go
    when it comes to improving the social and emotional outcomes, and other aspects of students’ well-being that were measured by PISA 2018, areas where other countries excel.
  • It is also noteworthy that some of today’s highest-performing education systems have only recently attained their top positions. Less than 17% of 55-65 year-old Singaporeans scored at level 3 or higher in literacy in the Survey of Adult Skills (a product of the OECD
    Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, a kind of PISA for adults) – one of the smallest proportions amongst participating countries – while 63% of 16-24 year-olds did so, one of the largest proportions. In PISA 2018, 15-year-old Singaporeans scored not statistically differently from the four provinces/municipalities of China in reading.
  • Amongst OECD countries, Estonia has advanced steadily to the top, despite the fact that its expenditure per student remains about 30% lower than the OECD average
  • Portugal advanced to the OECD average level despite being severely hit by the financial crisis.
  • Some countries that still perform well below the OECD average saw remarkable improvements in their students’ performance, most notably Albania, the Republic of Moldova, Peru and Qatar. Turkey’s improvement between 2003 and 2018 may look somewhat less impressive, but Turkey was able to double the coverage of the 15-year-olds who are enrolled in school and covered by PISA from 36% to
    73% during that period.
  • Five other countries – namely Albania, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Uruguay – also significantly increased enrolment rates in
    secondary education over their participation in PISA and maintained or improved their mean reading, mathematics and science performance. This shows that the quality of education does not have to be sacrificed when increasing access to schooling
  • Some countries were able to move to a more positive trajectory in recent years after a period of stagnation or decline. Sweden showed an improving trend in all three subjects between 2012 and 2018, reversing earlier declines in mean performance. Argentina, the
    Czech Republic and Ireland saw recent improvements in reading; Denmark, Ireland, Jordan, Slovenia and the United Kingdom in mathematics; and Jordan and Montenegro in science.

For the report click here.