EDUCATION: Cyprus pupils score below EU average in international tests

School pupils in Cyprus have scored below the EU average in yet another international student assessment programme to measure educational standards in maths and science.

This time Cyprus came in 50 among 77 countries when it came to read and understanding a text, while it came 43 and 47 for maths and science respectively in the 2018 International Student Assessment known as PISA.

PISA 2018 assessed the cumulative outcomes of education and learning at a point at which most children are still enrolled in formal education, before leaving the schooling system, that is the age of 15 and is carried in maths and science out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD countries average was 487. Pupils in Cyprus scored 424 points, ranking Cyprus 50th of 77 countries (there was no data for Spain). In 2015 Cyprus ranked 47, so improvement has been marginal if any.

Math’s: The OECD average was 489. Cyprus scored 451 points and shared 43rd place with Greece among 78 countries. In 2015, it was ranked 49.

Science: The OECD average was 489. Cyprus scored 439 points placing it 47 from 78 countries, two places up from 49 in 2015.

The Ministry of Education voiced concerned over the results of the PISA international competition, as despite the fact that Cyprus has improved its position slightly compared to 2015, student performance remains below the European average.

Speaking to Active radio Athena Michaelidou, director of the Cyprus Institute of Education, admitted the results were not exactly what the Ministry was expecting or wanted, but said two of the three subjects (mathematics and science) a significant statistical increase was recorded.

The PISA assessment will be evaluated and used as an important tool in the hands of the Ministry in order to improve Cyprus students’ standards. The PISA assessment gives a specific direction on how we can move forward, to identify what’s wrong with our system and to be able to improve it, said Michaelidou.

She said that the educational systems of other countries should be studied but explained that copying them is doomed to fail due to difference in culture and mentality.

Michaelidou said that experts from Finland, Estonia and Poland will visit Cyprus soon as there is much to learn from these countries.

Source: The Financial Mirror