Benchmarking our education system against other countries

MALAYSIA’S participation in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) can help the country benchmark its education system with higher achieving nations, says Fadhlina Sidek.

The Education Minister explained that this was in line with the third wave of the Education Development Plan (2021-2025).

“It is also in line with Malaysia Madani aspirations,” Fadhlina said in a written reply to Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Dr Wee had asked about Malaysia’s stance on both Pisa and TIMSS as well as its participation in these programmes.

Pisa is an international study, held every three years, that measures how prepared 15-year-olds who underwent formal education are to fully integrate into modern society.

It focuses on three literacy domains – Reading Literacy, Mathematical Literacy and Scientific Literacy.

TIMSS is an international study held every four years and focuses on mathematics and science assessments.

Dr Wee also asked how Malaysian students were benchmarked against students from other countries according to international standards.

In response, Fadhlina said benchmarks under Pisa were derived from the average score of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED) member countries that also participated.

For TIMSS, Fadhlina said the benchmark was based on the centre point scale determined by the International Association of Evaluation of Educational Achievement, which was 500 points.

“The benchmarks will help determine intervention measures and strategies to improve the quality of education in Malaysia, including academics, curriculum and assessments, and teachers’ professional development,” Fadhlina said.

She added that Malaysia had participated in Pisa in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2022; and TIMSS in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023.

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