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International study shows Hong Kong students' reading, mathematical and scientific literacy continue to rank among the world's best

     The Education Bureau (EDB) is pleased to note that Hong Kong students have performed very well and their achievements continue to be among the best, as revealed in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 announced today (December 7).

     PISA is a three-year international study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that assesses the reading, mathematical and scientific literacy in the mother tongue of 15-year-old students.

     Among the 65 countries/regions participating in the study, Hong Kong's 15-year-old students ranked fourth in reading literacy, third in both mathematical and scientific literacy, and their overall performance is among the best internationally.

     In reading literacy, the mean score for Hong Kong's 15-year-old students in 2009 was 533.  This was not statistically significantly different from their mean score in 2006 (536), showing that the performance of students in the two assessments were stable.

     In mathematical literacy, the mean score for our 15-year-old students in 2009 was 555.  This was higher than their mean score in 2006 (547).

     In scientific literacy, the mean score for Hong Kong's 15-year-old students in 2009 was 549.  This was also higher than their mean score in 2006 (542).

     The EDB welcomed the enhancement in students' enjoyment of reading. The findings also show that whether or not students enjoy reading correlates significantly with reading performance.

     The positive performance of Hong Kong students' in reading is believed to benefit from the promotion of "Reading to Learn" and the reform of the Chinese Language Curriculum, which facilitate teachers to integrate appropriate reading strategies and reading activities into their teaching design so as to enhance the reading interests and abilities of their students.

     "The outstanding performance of Hong Kong students in PISA once again validates that Hong Kong education is heading in the right direction.  The achievements are the result of the concerted efforts of schools and teachers, as well through the support of various stakeholders in taking forward the education reform," a spokesman for the EDB said.  

     "The difference in student performance between schools is getting smaller.  This change suggests that the basic education of Hong Kong is heading towards quality education with equality.  

     "Moreover, students' socio-economic status seems to have less effect on their performance as compared with other participating countries/regions.  These results reaffirm the quality of our education system," the spokesman added.

     Background information and key statistics of PISA 2009 are at the Annex.

Ends/Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:01


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