12 December 2012

Aduh....Jatuh Lagi....Nape...?

Malaysia edging to bottom in maths and science, survey shows

December 12, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 ― Malaysian students trail their global peers in mathematics and science tests, according to the results of two international benchmarking studies released yesterday, with secondary schoolers also showing a decline from their predecessors.
Malaysians scored an average 440 points in mathematics in Form Two ― the equivalent to eighth grade worldwide ― in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011, lagging behind Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan, which occupied the top five spots worldwide.
Malaysian 14-year-olds performed worse than their counterparts in Israel who chalked up 516 points, Lithuania (502) and Lebanon (449), but beat neighbouring Thailand, which scored 427 points on tests by a narrow margin.

In science, Malaysians scored 426 points, tying with Syria and just pipping Palestine, Georgia and Oman, which totted up 420 points each in the tests.They were bested by top scorer Singapore (590), Chinese Taipei (564), Korea (560), Japan (558), Israel (516), Kazakhstan (490) and Thailand (451). 

The average score in the TIMSS is benchmarked at 500 points, with countries scoring above that considered to have improved their performance in the two subjects while those falling below that mark are regarded as underperformers.

TIMSS is a four-year global assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of fourth and eighth graders worldwide, or Standard Four and Form Two according to Malaysia’s education system.

However, Malaysian students were graded only at the secondary level in the survey.

The TIMSS showed that Malaysia has consistently underperformed over the past three assessments in the two subjects considered necessary in the country’s race to break into the ranks of high-income nations.

In 2007, the average Malaysian 14-year-old scored 474 points in mathematics and 471 points in science in the TIMSS survey. And in 1999, the average score for mathematics stood at 519 points and 492 points for science. 

Education lobbyists, including the Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE), have blamed the government’s flip-flopping education policies ― especially in the teaching of mathematics and science ― for the drop in education standards.

The government recently launched the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 with the aim to be in the top third of the Programme For International Student Assessment (PISA) test within the next 13 years.

The country is currently ranked in the bottom third. But in its recent Budget 2013, the Barison Nasional (BN) government also slashed its education allocation from RM50 billion in the last budget, to RM38.7 billion, raising doubts about the ability of the educational blueprint in addressing the nation’s flagging education standards. 

Analysts have also suggested that Malaysia’s aim of boosting its education standards through an ambitious overhaul of the national school system will not happen as long as politicians continue to be involved in drawing up its policies.

Read more here.


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