Prague, Dec 3 (CTK) – Czech students have improved in reading, mathematics and natural sciences since 2015, the Education Ministry and Czech School Inspectorate officials said today, citing the results of the OECD’s worldwide study Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
The study showed that Czech students were average or slightly above average and that reading literacy was their biggest weakness.
Last year, 79 countries and economic regions participated in the study of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In the Czech Republic, 15-year-old primary and secondary school students from 333 schools took part in it.
The PISA testing showed that China, Taiwan, Korea and Estonia are among the countries with the best results, supreme school inspector Tomas Zatloukal said. The testing is done once in three years.
Czechs were 21st in natural sciences literacy, 22nd in mathematics and 25th in reading literacy.
Zatloukal said the latest study focused mainly on reading literacy.
He said Czech children achieved nearly the same result as they had in 2000, but while in 2000 their result was below average, now it was average. He said this was mainly because a number of countries worsened and a number of others that had markedly worse results was included in the study.
Czech children have the biggest problems in understanding texts. On the contrary, their skill in finding information in texts and working with it is above average, Zatloukal said.
He said the Czech children’s results in mathematic and natural scientific literacy did not even get close to the best results that Czech students achieved in 2003 and 2006.
In 2003, Czech students had 516 points in maths testing, or 17 points more than last year. In natural sciences they had 513 points in 2006, or 16 points more than last year.
In reading literacy, Czechs had 490 points, Estonian students were the best with 523 points and the EU average was 482 points.
Zatloukal said one fifth of Czech students had very bad results in reading literacy and they might fail in school and in their professional career in future due to it.
He said the PISA results again confirmed the differences in education among Czech regions. He said the testing showed that students are the best in Prague, followed by the Plzen and Zlin regions, while their results are the worst in the Usti Region. The difference between Prague and the Usti Region is about two school years, he said.
In general, public schools had better results than private and church schools, Zatloukal said.
The Czech School Inspectorate will analyse the reasons of the above differences, he said.
Zatloukal said Czech students achieved markedly better results than what corresponded to the money spent on education.
Education Minister Robert Plaga (ANO) said the education budget needs to be further increased. The finances should be used not only on the salaries of teachers but also on their further education and investments on innovations in teaching, he said.