Croatian Students Under-Perform in All Fields of PISA Survey

By 3 December 2019

ZAGREB, December 3, 2019 - Croatian 15-year-old students' ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges, as measured by the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), is below the average, according to the latest PISA survey.

PISA surveys are conducted every three years. So far there have been seven surveys and Croatia participated in the last five.

The latest PISA survey, conducted in 2018, covered 600,000 students in 79 countries which had about 32 million 15-year-old students.

In Croatia, the assessment was conducted in 179 secondary and four primary schools in the spring of 2018, involving a total of 6,609 15-year-olds.

Considering trends over a 12-year-long span, Croatian students' performance in reading and mathematics showed neither improvement nor decline, whereas a considerably negative trend has been observed in science knowledge.

The latest survey shows that the best performers are Chinese students, who are followed by students from Singapore and Macao (China), whereas the Philippines and the Dominican Republic are at the bottom of the ranking.

In this category, the most successful country in Europe in Estonia, with a mean score of 523 points, followed by Finland (520 points) and Ireland (518 scores).

Croatia's performance is below the average, with a mean reading score of 479 points, which ranks it 29th of 77 countries, the National Centre for External Assessment (NCVV) stated on Tuesday.

Croatia's performance is similar to the results in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Latvia, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Iceland, Israel, Russia and Belarus, the centre says.

Broken down by gender, Croatian girls are much better than boys (by a margin of 33 points). Also, students in grammar schools called "gimnazija" are better performers than students from other types of secondary schools.

Estonia is again the top European performer in this category, with a mean score of 523 points, and it is followed by the Netherlands (519 points) and Poland (516).

Croatia's mean score is 464 points, and it ranks 40th out of 78 countries.

In Croatia one in three students fails to reach the basic level of knowledge in this category.

Broken down by gender, male students in Croatia are better than female students, by a 9-point difference. Also, students in grammar schools called "gimnazija" are better performers than students from other types of secondary schools.

The Estonians are again the champions in this category in Europe, with a mean score of 530 points. Finland and Poland follow, with respective mean scores of 522 and 511 points.

Croatia's mean score stands at 472 points and the country is ranked 36th out of 78 countries.

There has been a negative change in the performance of Croatian students in this category over the last three years, with the mean score being reduced by 5 points.

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