Golden Days Where Finland’s Education A Success Are Over

(FINNBAY) – Paris, 3 December 2013. For the past decade Finland has consistently placed at or near the top of the league of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The things put that success down were the teacher training and free system where students of all backgrounds had access to the same education. But the golden days are over. According to the latest PISA assessment released minutes ago, Finland does not have the best education system in the world anymore.

Finland Education PISA 2013 success

PISA 2012. Courtesy of OECD

New PISA 2012 results reveal what is possible in education by showing what students in the highest-performing and most rapidly improving education systems can do.

The findings allow policy makers around the world to gauge the knowledge and skills of students in their own countries in comparison with those in other countries, set policy targets against measurable goals achieved by other education systems, and learn from policies and practices applied elsewhere.

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All 34 OECD member countries and 31 partner countries and economies participated in PISA 2012, representing more than 80% of the world economy.

Around 510 000 students between the ages of 15 years 3 months and 16 years 2 months completed the assessment in 2012, representing about 28 million 15-year-olds in the schools of the 65 participating countries and economies.

Finland will acquire experts to get back in the game

Finland, an education system that encourages free expression but extremely discourages differentiation, dropped from the top of the league and ranked 12th with a score of 519 barely passing Canada (518), Poland (518) and Belgium (515).

Also Read: Retrograding Trend in Finland’s Education: Violent Fight Terrorizes Oulu School

“‘The general downturn in learning outcomes shows that we must take strong action to develop Finnish education. We will bring in not only experts in research and education and political decision-makers but also student representatives and parents,’ said Krista Kiuru, Minister of Education and Science.

Shanghai Scores the Highest in PISA 2012

Shanghai (China) has the highest scores in mathematics, with a mean score of 613 points – 119 points, or the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling, above the OECD average. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Macao, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands, in descending order of their scores, round out the top ten performers in mathematics.

In regards to reading, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea are the five highest-performing countries and economies in PISA 2012.

Also Read: Finland Allocates €22.5 million for Grudge Match with PISA 2015

On average across OECD countries, 8% of students are top performers in reading (Level 5 or 6). These students can handle texts that are unfamiliar in either form or content and can conduct fine-grained analyses of texts. Shanghai has the largest proportion of top performers – 25% – among all participating countries and economies.

More than 15% of students in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are top performers in reading as are more than 10% of students in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Korea, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and Taiwan.

PISA 2012 Ranking List

PISA 2012 Rankings. Source: OECD PISA

PISA 2012 Rankings. Source: OECD PISA

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Since when is Shanghai a country?

Vincent Beaucher
Vincent Beaucher

Two comments:

- It is easier to fall down from the top than to go up;

- If the quality of life of students were taken into account, I'm not sure that we would really want to follow Asian countries' example.

But still, good for Finland to try to improve how things are done.