Aussie students lagging behind global counterparts in maths, reading and science

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The PISA test compares the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science across 79 countries and economies every three years.

"Teachers have high-quality training and there have been investments in schools that had difficulties", he added.

Results showed that one in four students is unable to complete even the most basic reading tasks.

Maths performance is down in all states and territories, with dramatic drops observed in South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT in particular, and the smallest decline recorded in Victoria. "The 2018 test had used interactive tasks in a simulated web environment which was 'strongly focused on reading in a digital context", it pointed out.

The assessment is particularly important because it is included in the National Agenda, which outlines the future of the UAE and the broad lines of its general targets, under which the UAE will be among PISA's top 20 countries in the world by 2021. We can and should expect much more of Australian students.

In 2018, mean reading performance in Latvia was above the level observed when the country first participated in PISA in 2000, but below the level observed in 2015.

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Among the least fearful were the Netherlands and Switzerland, with scores ranging from 35 per cent to 45 per cent, while Taiwan and Hong Kong were among the highest with scores of up to 89 per cent. Boys perform better than girls with a non-statistically significant difference of 4 points (OECD average: 5 points higher for boys).

With such poor scores, Southeast Asia's largest economy has fallen behind the four other ASEAN member states - Singapore, which scored second-highest (after China) in the three subjects, as well as Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand.

Both scores were also significantly below the OECD average of 489.

The triennial report showed that although scores in the three subjects had improved from last time, the United Kingdom is still lagging behind and failing to make the top ten.

"That is why the OECD produces this triennial report... to share evidence of the best policies and practices and to offer our timely and targeted support to help countries provide the best education possible for all of their students".

On average across OECD countries, 13% of students in 2018 had an immigrant background, up from 10% in 2009.

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The federal minister went on to say that Australia needs to "invest in teachers", after the OECD highlighted higher salaries among educators in higher performing PISA countries.

Across the assessment domains, there was around three-quarters of a year of schooling difference between students in government schools and students in Catholic schools, around one-and-a-half years of schooling difference between students in government schools and students in independent schools, and nearly one year of schooling difference between students in Catholic schools and students in independent schools.

Reading ability among Japanese students fell to 14th from eighth in the 2003 PISA tests.

"Against this background, it is disappointing that in many countries a student's or school's postcode remains the strongest predictor of their achievement", he said.

In Japan, about 6,100 students representing 183 schools participated.

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