PISA study: Flemish 15-year-olds a year behind in maths and reading

Flemish 15-year-olds perform worse in reading, mathematics and science than their peers four years ago, according to the triennial PISA study, which was delayed by a year due to Covid-19. However, they remain ahead of French- and German-speaking pupils.

The Programme for International Student Assessment is an international study launched by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2000 to assess the mathematical, scientific and reading literacy of 15-year-olds in 81 countries. For the 2022 report, 4,714 students from 172 schools in Flanders were evaluated.

Decline in all disciplines

The analysis shows a decline in all three disciplines, with average reading scores falling from 502 to 483, maths from 518 to 501 and science from 510 to 499. According to OECD standards, 15-year-olds in Flanders have fallen behind by approximately an entire school year in mathematics and reading compared to four years ago, as 20 points roughly equates to a complete school year.

It shows that Flanders is not immune to the global downward trend, which the OECD attributes to a combination of a continuing long-term trend and the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic, including distance learning.

In 2022, French-speaking pupils scored 474 in reading (down 7 points), 474 in mathematics (-21), and 479 in science (-6). In German-speaking Belgium, the results in 2022 were 467 in reading (-16), 483 in mathematics (-22) and 487 in science (+4).

Singapore remains the top performer, scoring 543 in reading, 575 in mathematics and 561 in science.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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