Belgian youngsters do well in OECD study

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400,000 students tested in 57 countries

Tue 04/12/07 - Belgian students score above average in science, maths and reading. This is the outcome of a study by the OECD- the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Noteworthy is that Flemish youngsters score better than their Walloon counterparts.

The OECD PISA study (Programme for International School Assessment) tests students every three years. (Photonews) Last year the PISA study tested 400,000 students in 57 countries.

Flanders is in the top five for maths and reading. While the Flemish scored 529 points, the Walloon students scored 486.

A negative aspect that came to light is the big difference between the scores of the best and the worst students in Flanders.

Furthermore, the Flemish students score lower than other countries on motivation.

Although the Flemish students are good in science and maths, they are less likely to study these subjects in university. (Belga) Flemish Education Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist, photo) is pleased with the scores, but concedes that there is a problem.

 "The differences between the best and the worst students are largely due to socio-economic and cultural factors," according to Mr. Vandenbroucke.

This proves that the equal opportunities policy must be further integrated into the schools What is PISA?The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an internationally standardised assessment that was jointly developed by participating countries and administered to15-year-olds in schools.

The survey was implemented in 43 in the 1st assessment in 2000, in 41 countries in the 2nd assessment in 2003, in 57 countries in the 3rd assessment in 2006 and 62 countries have signed up to participate in the 4th assessment in 2009.

Tests are typically administered to between 4,500 and 10,000 students in each country. For more information consult the OECD PISA website.


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