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International study shows Hong Kong students stand out in reading literacy
     ​The Education Bureau (EDB) today (Dec 6) said it was pleased to learn that Hong Kong students had performed remarkably well in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016.

     PIRLS is conducted every five years by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) with an aim to assess the mother tongue reading literacy of students aged 9 to 10 in the fourth grade (Primary 4 (P4) in Hong Kong). Fifty countries or regions participated in PIRLS 2016. The average international test score was 500. P4 students in Hong Kong, with an average test score of 569, ranked third, after the Russian Federation and Singapore.

     Among Hong Kong P4 students, 93 per cent were at or above the Intermediate benchmark level, higher than the international average of 82 per cent, while as in 2011, 18 per cent were high achievers at the Advanced level, which was attained by only 10 per cent of students globally.

     Hong Kong P4 students did better in informational reading than in literary reading. The reading attainment of girls was better than that of boys, with a gender difference narrower than the international average. Compared with 2011, the difference in reading attainment between Hong Kong P4 boys and girls has also narrowed.

     A spokesman for the EDB said, "PIRLS 2016 showed that, compared with other countries or regions, the family background and socio-economic status had little influence on the reading attainment of Hong Kong's P4 students, reflecting that effective support from different stakeholders played a pivotal role in enhancing students' language and reading ability, and that Hong Kong's primary education system provided all students with equal opportunities for quality education.

     "The Study also reflected a positive relationship between parental involvement and the reading attainment of students. However, the reading attainment of students who received extra tuition after school was not significantly different from that of peers who had no extra tutoring.

     "The performance of Hong Kong students was outstanding in PIRLS 2016. Though the ranking dropped slightly from the first in 2011 to the third in 2016, Hong Kong's score of 569 was, statistically, not significantly different from the second highest (Singapore's 576). The score dropped by only two points as compared to that in PIRLS 2011 (571).

     "The continuously remarkable performance of Hong Kong students validates that Hong Kong education is heading in the right direction, and bears recognition to the concerted efforts of the schools, teachers and other stakeholders in providing quality education for our students. The EDB will analyse the findings of PIRLS 2016 in detail and will continue to collaborate with the education sector, parents and members of the community to sustain the balanced development and good performance of students."

     Background information and key statistics of PIRLS 2016 are at Annex.
Ends/Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:50
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