Malaysia’s performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2018 has improved and approaching the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average in three forms of literacy, namely, Reading, Mathematics and Science.
Education director-general Amin Senin said based on the Pisa 2018 results, Malaysian students scored 415 points for reading and 440 and 438 points for mathematics and science, respectively.
“This achievement shows that Malaysia has now moved up to middle one-third countries participating in the international assessment, instead of the bottom one-third in the previous results,” he said at a press conference announcing Malaysia's Pisa 2018 achievements today.
“This achievement also shows that Malaysia performs better than any other Asean member countries except Singapore.
Amin said the Pisa 2018 which involved 6,111 participants selected to represent 388,638 of 15-year-old students in the country, also showed that they only read when they were forced to or for a specific purpose rather than as an interest.
“Despite the lack of interest in reading as a hobby, three reading materials enjoyed by students according to the survey are comics, and fictional and non-fictional books,” he said.
He said the OECD reports also recorded a drop in the use of printed materials that could be attributed to the digital age, namely access to chat rooms and easily available reading materials on news sites or portals.
“However, the percentage of Malaysian students reading and searching for information online has increased significantly, and almost equals the OECD average,” he said.
Amin said the difference in reading behaviour between boys and girls showed that 77 percent of boys only read for the information needed compared to 58 percent of girls reading for the same purpose.
The ratio of female students who stated reading as a hobby was at 73 percent compared to boys at 52 percent, he said.