Are Malta’s PISA OECD education rankings cause for concern?

PISA is the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)'s Programme for international student assessment.

PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. The 2018 results cover 79 countries and economies, representing 32 million 15-year-olds’ skills in these subjects.

Results from PISA indicate the quality and equity of learning outcomes attained around the world, and allow educators and policy makers to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries.

Malta: READING: 448 MATHEMATICS: 472 SCIENCE: 457

Where does Malta rank?

In reading literacy, the main topic of PISA 2015, 15-year-olds in Malta score 448 points compared to an average of 487 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 49 points (OECD average: 30 points higher for girls).

On average, 15-year-olds score 472 points in mathematics compared to an average of 489 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 13 points (OECD average: 5 points higher for boys).

In Malta, the average performance in science of 15-year-olds is 457 points, compared to an average of 489 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 21 points (OECD average: 2 points higher for girls).

Socio-economic status explains 8% of the variance in reading performance in Malta (OECD average: 12%).

The average difference between advantaged and disadvantaged students in reading is 85 points, compared to an average of 89 in OECD countries. However, 13% of disadvantaged students are academically resilient (OECD average: 11%).

For more details, search ‘OECD PISA’ online.