Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Global Survey Shows Malaysia edging to bottom in maths and science

Malaysian students trail their global peers in mathematics and science tests, according to the results of two international benchmarking studies released yesterday, with secondary schoolers also showing a decline from their predecessors.
Malaysians scored an average 440 points in mathematics in Form Two ― the equivalent to eighth grade worldwide ― in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011, lagging behind Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan, which occupied the top five spots worldwide.
Malaysian 14-year-olds performed worse than their counterparts in Israel who chalked up 516 points, Lithuania (502) and Lebanon (449), but beat neighbouring Thailand, which scored 427 points on tests by a narrow margin.
In science, Malaysians scored 426 points, tying with Syria and just pipping Palestine, Georgia and Oman, which totted up 420 points each in the tests.
(Photo: Palestinian School Children)
They were bested by top scorer Singapore (590), Chinese Taipei (564), Korea (560), Japan (558), Israel (516), Kazakhstan (490) and Thailand (451).

Meanwhile:


Singapore primary four students rank as the best in the world in math and the second-best in science, a global study shows.

Also, secondary school 2 students in the country led in science and came in second internationally in math, according to the Trends In International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) that evaluates test scores in 63 countries. 
Students in Hong Kong and South Korea also ranked very high in the two subjects.

The study sampled a total of 12,500 primary four and secondary two students between 2010 and 2011.  
In the separate Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) that covered 49 countries, Singapore primary four students also showed strength in reading, ranking in fourth place.

“The studies show that our students received strong support from their schools and homes, which has helped to cultivate their interest in these subjects. Our students liked mathematics and science more than their international peers,” the Ministry of Education said in a statement.
“Internationally, the studies show that students benefitted from engaging in early-literacy activities such as reading books, telling stories and singing songs before starting P1,” it said.

Reflecting on Singapore’s performance in the latest TIMSS and PIRLS studies, Ho Peng, MOE’s director-general of education, said, “Overall, Singapore students have done well. In particular, students across all ability groups have improved.”
Check out the top 10 scoring countries below.
Top 10 scoring nations on the TIMSS study. (Yahoo! image)