German schools slip in global rankings

22nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2004, BERLIN - Germany was jolted Monday by the weak performance of children from its schools in a worldwide test to be released next month by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report - obtained in advance by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa - shows German schoolchildren are in 17th place for maths out of the 30 OECD countries tested in the survey of rich, industrialised nations. German pupils rank even worse in reading and text comprehension where they were ranke

22 November 2004

BERLIN - Germany was jolted Monday by the weak performance of children from its schools in a worldwide test to be released next month by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The report - obtained in advance by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa - shows German schoolchildren are in 17th place for maths out of the 30 OECD countries tested in the survey of rich, industrialised nations.

German pupils rank even worse in reading and text comprehension where they were ranked 20th, according to the report obtained by dpa.

A Federal Education Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment prior to the OECD report's formal release on 7 December.

Similar results for Germany in an OECD survey back in 2000 created an outpouring of angst and some reform of schools in the country which is the world's third biggest economic power.

The ministry spokeswoman noted that Berlin had made available EUR four billion to create full-day schools. At present, most German secondary school pupils spend only the morning in class and go home by early afternoon.

"It will take seven to 10 years to get German schools back up to the top rating," said the spokeswoman.

The teachers' trade union said the results, if confirmed, amounted to "a catastrophe" but warned against blaming teachers, pupils or their parents.

A commentary in the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper said the cause of the poor ranking of Germany was "overloaded course content, false teaching methods, elderly teachers and unmotivated pupils."

But the paper agreed it would take several years for reforms already in place to show up in the OECD school test.

"This takes time and one can only hope that there is not a new wave of panic because in the end only the children will suffer," said the Mannheimer Morgen.

The latest OECD survey "Programme for International Student Assessment" (PISA) is based on tests of 50,000 pupils aged 15 carried out in spring 2003 in the 30 OECD states as well as 11 other industrial nations.

Germany's results are based on tests of 220 pupils in 25 schools.

DPA


Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article