Drop in Pisa scores worldwide

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has seen its Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) score tumble as the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on the students’ learning.

Education deputy director-general (School Operations) Azman Adnan said the drop, however, is not unique to Malaysia.

He said most other countries around the world were also affected by the “learning loss” due to the pandemic.

Pisa is administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) every three years on 15-year-olds in both OECD and non-OECD countries.

However, he said Malaysia’s score is much lower than the OECD average for all three domains – mathematics, scientific and reading literacy.

“Malaysia’s performance in Pisa 2022 has shown a decline in all three literacy measures assessed,” he said when announcing the results at the Education Ministry yesterday.

On average, our 15-year-olds had a score of 409 in mathematics compared with 440 points the last time. It is also a difference of 63 points from the OECD average.

Science had also dropped 22 points to 416 from 2018’s 438. The OECD average is 485.

In reading literacy, Malaysia scored 388, a drop of 27 from 415 points in 2018.

The minimum mastery level for Pisa is Level 2 with the highest being Level 5 and 6.

This means students are able to interpret and identify without clear guidance on how to represent a common situation mathematically for mathematics.

Students can also identify commonly seen scientific phenomena and use their knowledge to identify a situation whether a conclusion is valid based on given data in science.

For reading, students can demonstrate skills that enable them to be effective and productive in life.

About 1.2% of our students had reached the proficient level for mathematics and 0.5% for science.

Less than half (42%) met the minimum Level 2 for reading.

About 0.2% of our students reached the minimum Level 2 in reading, 50% in scientific literacy and 41% for mathematics.

About 1% of our students scored the highest bands of 5 and 6 for all three domains, he said, adding that the OECD average is 9% in mathematics, 7% in both science and reading.

As for the other OECD countries, the average score in mathematics, science and reading for 2022 were 472, 485 and 476 points respectively.

Between the genders, in mathematics, girls scored 414 while boys scored 404.

For science, girls scored 423 with boys scoring 410. In reading, girls scored 404 points while boys scored 373.

Overall, there is a widening gap between the genders in 2022 compared with 2018.

Azman said more students from higher socio-economic status families did better in the assessment compared with those from lower status families in all three domains.

Urban students also did better than those in rural schools.

Azman said the information obtained through this assessment enables the ministry to formulate strategies to improve the Education Ministry’s programmes and initiatives. This includes formulating the new school curriculum.

Overall, countries whose scores had dropped in all three domains include Finland, France, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Pisa offers students questions in the main language of instruction in their respective countries. However, it was delayed from 2021 to 2022 due to the pandemic.

Each round focuses on either reading, mathematics or science.

This international benchmark study helps measure how prepared 15-year-olds who undergo formal education are able to fully integrate into modern society.

It ran from April 17 to May 31, 2022 involving 199 schools or institutions, including international and private schools, with 53 randomly chosen students from each school.

The next Pisa is in 2025, which will also be the benchmark to see if the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2012-2025 is effective.

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pisa , malaysia education , Covid-19 , pandemic , students


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