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Macau pupils’ math skills rank 6th globally: PISA

Among the 65 participating countries and territories which took part in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), local pupils’ mathematical literacy was above the OECD average by ranking between sixth and eighth on the combined mathematics scale. The PISA report, which was released by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:52 am

Among the 65 participating countries and territories which took part in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), local pupils’ mathematical literacy was above the OECD average by ranking between sixth and eighth on the combined mathematics scale.

The PISA report, which was released by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday, is the single largest study of global schooling and has been dubbed the World Cup of Education.

However, according to the PISA results about 10 percent of Macau’s nearly 5,400 participating pupils aged 15 were classified as “low-performers” whose overall average score in the assessment was about 300 to 400 while PISA’s  average global score for the three kinds of literacy – reading, mathematics and science is about 500.

Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) Deputy Director Kuok Sio Lai, University of Macau (UM) Professor Cheung Kwok Cheung, who headed the local PISA project, and Wong I Lin, the bureau’s school inspector, jointly presided over a press conference at the bureau to announce the results obtained by local pupils who participated in the 2012 PISA study.

Cheung was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying that Macau pupils first participated in the PISA 2003 study, which is carried out every three years. In 2012’s PISA, all 45 local schools which have pupils aged 15, totalling nearly 5,400 participants, were tested by the University of Macau last year.

According to information provided by the bureau, this was the fourth time local pupils took part in the programme, which is aimed at assessing participating pupils on the three kinds of literacy.

Cheung pointed out that local pupils obtained excellent results in mathematical literacy, scoring 538, while the OECD average score is 494. Macau was ranked sixth worldwide, after Shanghai (613), Singapore (574), Hong Kong (561), Taiwan (560) and South Korea (554) and before Japan (536) and Liechtenstein (535).

“However, because of sampling and measurement errors Macau was officially ranked sixth to eighth in mathematics,” Cheung said, adding that in scientific literacy Macau scored 521, ranking it ninth to 19th, while it was ranked 12th to 22nd in reading literacy with a score of 509

The OCED average score in scientific literacy was 501 while reading literacy’s average score was 497, according to the bureau’s information.

Cheung also said that about 10 percent of the local participants were classified as “low performers” whose average score in the three kinds of literacy was assessed to be 300 to 400.

He added that Shanghai, which obtained the highest score in the three kinds of literacy, had about a four percent “low performer rate”, Hong Kong about eight percent and Taiwan around 13 percent.

Cheung also said that it was the first time local pupils had achieved a score of more than 500 in reading literacy. According to the bureau’s information, reading scores stood at 498 in 2003, 492 in 2006, and 487 in 2009 while the average global score was 493.(macaunews)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:52 am

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