The Slovenia Times

PISA study: Slovenian students still good at maths, below-average in reading

Science & Education
A student learning online. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Slovenian 15-year-olds scored well in mathematical and scientific literacy, but ranked below the OECD average in reading literacy in the latest PISA Global Competence study, the first since the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts are worried about the negative trends that this major international survey has shown.

Slovenian students achieved lower results in all three categories compared to 2018, Klaudija Šterman Ivančič, the national survey coordinator, said as she presented the results on 5 December, noting that the OECD average was also lower.

These are preliminary results of the global competence survey as part of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for 2022 as part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Šterman Ivančič, who comes from the Educational Research Institute, said this year's study focused on mathematical literacy.

Slovenian 15-year-olds scored 485 points in this category, which is significantly above the OECD average of 472 points. However, a negative trend has been recorded in Slovenia, as 15-year-olds scored 509 points in 2018, when the OECD average was 489 points.

Some 75% of Slovenian participants in the survey achieved basic mathematical knowledge and skills, which is less than in previous years, and fewer students achieved the highest levels of mathematical literacy.

There are also large differences in mathematical achievements between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, reaching 92 points in Slovenia.

In scientific literacy, Slovenian 15-year-olds scored 500 points, above the OECD average of 485 points. In 2018, they scored 507, which compared to the OECD average of 489 points.

Meanwhile, Slovenia slipped below the OECD average in reading literacy. Its students scored 469 points compared to the OECD average of 476 points. In 2018, Slovenia was above the OECD average of 487 points (scoring 495 points).

What is more, an increasing proportion of Slovenian 15-year-olds fail to reach the basic level of reading literacy, Šterman Ivančič said. While 82% of them reached this threshold in 2018, this proportion is down to 74% in the latest survey.

The highest level of reading knowledge and skills was achieved by 4% of Slovenian students, while the average for the OECD countries is 7%.

There are no significant gender differences in mathematical literacy in Slovenia, while girls achieve better results in reading and science literacy. In the former, the difference is 44 points, which is among the largest in the OECD countries.

In scientific literacy, Slovenian girls scored an average of 15 points more than boys, while there are no significant differences at the OECD level.

Education Minister Darjo Felda announced a detailed analysis and specific measures to reverse the negative trends. Measures are to be made as part of the updated curricula and knowledge indicators will be introduced.

The PISA 2022 survey in Slovenia was carried out in March and April 2022 among 6,721 students.


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