Students in Malta are at the halfway point in basic skills such as reading, maths and science when compared with students in another 79 countries. These trends have emerged from the international research known as PISA, which is considered to be the barometer of the quality and efficiency of educational systems by evaluating young people in their last year of secondary school.
PISA, which is carried out every three years, is considered a measure of the basic skills which 15-year-old students should have reached throughout their years of compulsory education. The conclusions of the study show that out of more than 79 countries, Malta classified in 44th place, 39th place and. 43rd place respectively in reading, maths and science.
The Assistant Director of the Education Department, Louis Scerri, said that when compared with studies carried out in 2015, students in Malta did worse in maths and science but remained the same in reading. He added that the PISA study shows that around one-third of Maltese students do not have basic skills in these subjects.
”The fact that in maths especially and in science we have regressed a bit is surprising because over the last few years great efforts were made with those involved in these sectors.”
Mr Scerri said that Maltese students are showing a lack of reading skills as early as primary school. He said that they are among the least who like to read even after they leave school.
”If children struggle to read that means they will struggle to understand science as well as math problems.”
The results show that students in China, Singapore, Canada, Estonia and Finland have obtained the best results among students from 79 countries.
In a statement, the Education Minister said that this study confirms that students in state schools registered an improvement in reading, maths and science when compared with the 2015 study.