Malaysian students are poor problem solvers, survey says

PETALING JAYA: When it comes to problem-solving, Malaysian 15-year-olds are among of the world’s poorest, a survey by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has determined.

The 2012 survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that more than one in five Malaysian students could not even reach basic levels of problem solving.

Malaysia came in at 39th with a mean score of 422 points among the 44 countries surveyed. In comparison, Singapore topped the list of countries with 562 points.

Malaysia’s score also put it below the OECD average of 500 points.

The survey divided problem solving proficiency into six levels, with Level 6 being the highest and Level 1 being the lowest, though it was added that there was a level below Level 1.

“... and in Uruguay, the United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, Malaysia, Brazil and Israel, more than one in five students do not reach this level (Level 1),” the report said.

The PISA 2012 report said students proficient at Level 1 can only explore problems given to them in a limited manner.

“In general, students at Level 1 can solve straightforward problems provided there is only a simple condition to be satisfied and there are only one or two steps to be performed to reach that goal.”

According to the survey, students were given problems to explore and come up with solutions. These included trying to figure out how to use an MP3 player’s screen, and using the controls on an air-conditioner.

The students were then required to interact with the test’s problems to find out how they worked, and do it in the least possible number of clicks.

The survey also found that very few Malaysian students were likely to achieve the top levels of problem solving proficiency.

“... in Montenegro, Malaysia, Colombia, Uruguay, Bulgaria and Brazil, fewer than 2% of students perform at Level 5 or 6,” the report read.

In comparison, more than one in five students in Singapore, Korea and Japan attained this level of proficiency.

The report added that there were “strong positive correlations” with regard mathematics, reading and science skills, adding that students who performed in these areas could also perform well in problem solving.

In December last year, results of a PISA survey showed that Malaysian students scored below the OECD average in terms of mathematics, science and reading skills.

However, the survey also showed that that in terms of individual performances, Malaysian students scored better in mathematics, but fared worse in science and reading than in 2009.
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Malaysian students , PISA , OECD


Next In Nation

Two broadcasters now willing to air cabotage debate, says Wee
Oil palm plantations in dire need of workers
Any bipartisan deal with Opposition in Sabah should involve Warisan, says SAPP
Man slashes housemate to death in argument over mobile phone
Action taken against 63 MACC personnel over past five years
Wisma Putra monitoring political developments in Sudan following military takeover
Bank officer under probe over purchase of gold bars using his customers' FD deposits
Dr Noor Azmi: Tighter SOP in Melaka as transmission rate and cases still high
Covid-19: Daily cases dip below 5,000, with 7,414 recoveries recorded
People need to be assured of their place in Malaysian Family, says Sultan Nazrin

Others Also Read