Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Hong Kong students excel in international computer-based assessment of problem solving, reading literacy and mathematical literacy

     The Education Bureau (EDB) is pleased to note that Hong Kong students have performed very well and their computer-based assessment (CBA) results rank among the best as revealed in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 announced today (April 1).

     The PISA is an international study undertaken every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that assesses the reading, mathematical and scientific literacy in the mother tongue of 15-year-old students.

     The key findings of the PISA 2012 were released in December 2013, and the CBA results of the same study were announced today. Including Hong Kong, 44 countries/regions participated in the international CBA of problem solving, while 32 countries/regions participated in the CBA of reading and mathematics. Hong Kong's 15-year-old students ranked third in reading and fourth in both problem solving and mathematics in this CBA, making their performance in these three areas among the best internationally.

     "The outstanding performance of Hong Kong students in the PISA once again indicates that Hong Kong education, including our Information Technology (IT) in education policy, is heading in the right direction. The achievements are the results of the concerted efforts of schools and teachers, as well as from the support of various stakeholders in taking forward education reform," a spokesman for the EDB said.

     In the CBA of reading literacy, Hong Kong's ranking progressed from fifth in the PISA 2009 to third in the PISA 2012. The mean score of 15-year-old students in the PISA 2012 was 550. This was significantly higher than the mean score of the previous study in the PISA 2009 (515), showing that the performance of students has been improving significantly over the years. The significantly improved performance of Hong Kong students in reading in this CBA is believed to have resulted from the investment of resources in IT education strategies, the emphasis on enhancing students' higher-order learning skills including critical thinking skills under the curriculum reform and the promotion of Reading to Learn, one of the four key tasks implemented under the curriculum reform, which assists teachers and school librarians in employing appropriate reading strategies and reading activities so as to enhance students' reading interests and abilities.

     In the CBAs of problem solving and mathematical literacy, Hong Kong ranked fourth in the PISA 2012. The mean scores of 15-year-old students in these two CBAs in the PISA 2012 were 540 and 550 respectively. No comparison can be made with past results as this is the first large scale CBA study in problem solving and mathematical literacy. The good performance of Hong Kong students in both problem-solving and mathematics in this CBA is believed to have resulted from the investment of resources in IT education strategies, the emphasis on enhancing students' higher-order learning skills including problem solving skills under the curriculum reform, our emphasis on developing mathematics knowledge through project work and exploratory activities, and the design of the Mathematics Curriculum, which enables teachers to provide students with diversified learning opportunities to apply their mathematics knowledge in real-life situations.

     "We firmly believe that technology facilitates learning and teaching. As revealed by the study, over 98 per cent of the students had access to computers and Internet at home and over 80 per cent of students had access to computers and Internet at schools. These figures are clear evidence of the Government's investment in IT in education. The Government has invested over $9 billion since the implementation of support measures under the three Strategies on IT in Education as from the 1998/99 school year, and we have been disbursing the recurrent Composite Information Technology Grant to support schools for the enhancement of various IT facilities to, among others, enable students to develop higher order learning skills, including problem solving skills, with the use of IT," the spokesman said.

     "To provide students and parents of low-income families with social support, the Government launched the Internet Learning Support Programme, named 'i Learn at home' in 2011 to help students acquire affordable computer equipment and Internet services for online learning at home.

     "The positive results of Hong Kong students in CBA in the PISA 2012 suggest that our IT in education policy has provided concrete support to schools and students by enhancing the effectiveness of learning and teaching. We will continue to review our policies and strive to assist our students in stretching and developing their abilities and potential.

     "As in other PISA studies, students' socio-economic status seems to have less effect on their CBA performance when compared with other participating countries/regions. Generally speaking, students from various socio-economic backgrounds perform equally well in Hong Kong. The PISA studies again suggest that Hong Kong has done relatively well in providing education opportunities with relatively high quality and high equity for all students," the spokesman added.

     Background information and key statistics of the PISA 2012 are at the Annex.

Ends/Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:35


Print this page