Thursday, 24 April 2014

Students do better in international tests

ČTK |
12 December 2012

Prague, Dec 11 (CTK) - Czech pupils have ended above the average in the international tests of schoolchildren's reading literacy, mathematics and science, the Czech Education Ministry said yesterday, presenting results of the TIMSS and PIRLS surveys conducted in dozens of countries.

In the past years, Czech pupils fared poorly in the tests.

Asian countries traditionally emerge the best from the surveys, including the latest one.

PIRLS and TIMSS are acronyms for the projects Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

On the other hand, however, the survey showed that Czech teachers are rather dissatisfied, compared with their foreign counterparts, and that Czech kids like going to school the least of all. Only less than one-third of them said like school.

"Our children did best in solving tasks in natural science," Education Minister Petr Fiala said, adding that the Czechs ended eighth in this category, in which children from 52 countries were surveyed.

The Czech children owe their good result mainly to boys, whose skills improved in all categories, while the performance of Czech girls has slightly worsened.

In mathematics, Czech pupils ended 22nd, which is an above-average position and an improvement compared to the previous Czech result, but still it is worse than the result in 1995.

In the category of reading literacy, i.e. children's capability of comprehending a written text, Czech pupils ended 14th out of 45 countries.

Czech kids showed above-average skills in searching for information in texts, while in the other parameters their results were comparable with foreign pupils.

"These are the results of a good work of our teachers," Fiala said. The Czech Republic owes the results to the changes in its school system in the past years, mainly to the reform enabling schools to teach according to their own educational programmes.

Moreover, schools have effectively used the EU subsidies they could draw to improve lessons.

The tests involved over 4500 Czech pupils and their parents, almost 500 teachers and head teachers.

In the selection of 25 countries of the EU, the OECD and Russia, the Czech Republic ended in the last third in terms of teachers' satisfaction.

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