How can the Education Ministry claim that Malaysia has achieved higher scores in PISA 2015 when PISA 2015 authorities have dropped and de-recognised Malaysia’s results from the OECD “world school report”?

I am amazed as to how the Education Ministry can claim that Malaysian students had registered better scores in mathematics, science and reading according to the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 results announced in London yesterday, when PISA 2015 authorities have dropped and derecognised Malaysia’s results from the OECD “world school report” in this triennial test, for reasons which have yet to be disclosed.

It is completely unthinkable that the Education Deputy Director-General Datuk Dr. Amin Senin could announce Malaysia’s results for the PISA 2015, claiming better scores in all three PISA domains, scientific literacy, reading literacy and mathematical literacy, when Malaysia was the only one of the 72 countries/economics which took part in the PISA 2015 tests last year but which had been dropped from the PISA 2015 results released yesterday.

The Education Ministry should know why Malaysia had the dishonour and ignominy of being the only one of the 72 participating countries/economies to be dropped and derecognised from the PISA 2015 results announced in London yesterday as well as from the PISA 2015 Report and the Education Ministry owes it to the Malaysian people, and in particular to the 9,660 Form III students from 230 schools and involving 5,750 teachers and 230 administrators who were selected to participate in the PISA 2015 tests, to reveal why Malaysia had been officially dropped and de-recognised from the PISA 2015 tests after Malaysian students had participated in the programme last year.

In the circumstances, it is premature for Dr. Amin to claim that the Ministry of Education’s Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) initiative was the major push which helped Malaysia register higher scores in PISA 2015, as the Education Ministry must first secure recognition of these so-called PIS 2015 results.

Dr. Amin claimed that for scientific literacy, Malaysia recorded an improvement by scoring 443 points, which was an increase of 23 points from the 2012 PISA score; for reading literacy, Malaysia’s score was 431 points which was up by 33 points while for mathematical literacy the score was 446 points, up by 25 points.

Amin claimed that the 2015 PISA score also revealed that over 60 per cent of students are able to apply their knowledge and skills in real life situations and are prepared to participate fully in the society.

Which PISA 2015 results were Amin talking about – the Education Ministry’s released in Kuala Lumpur yesterday or the OECD’s PISA 2015 results released in London yesterday?

Amin’s claims are suspect as they are not recognised by the PISA 2015 authorities in OECD.

Yesterday, I had waited for the PISA 2015 results, which were scheduled to be announced in London at 11 am UK time, as one of the objectives of the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is to elevate Malaysia into the top one-third of countries participating in international assessments like the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS).

I was shocked and stunned when I combed through the PISA 2015 Report, and could not find Malaysia in the in the “world school report” results, especially as the PISA tests have become increasingly important as the litmus tests for international educational standards.

Did the Malaysian education authorities do something dishonourable and disgraceful for Malaysia to be disqualified at the last minute from the PISA 2015? I do not believe that the 9,660 Malaysian 15-year-olds would have done anything to cause Malaysia’s disqualification from PISA 2015.
A full and detailed explanation from the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir is urgently warranted.

The latest PISA 2015 results show that East Asian countries still dominate the top of the PISA tables, particularly in science and maths.
Singapore has come top in science, maths and reading. And East Asian countries have taken the top five places in maths and three of the top five places in science.

But in reading, while the top two places are taken by Singapore and Hong Kong, the next highest performers are Canada, Finland and Ireland. And in science, Estonia and Finland have made it to the top five.

“The fact that students in most East Asian countries consistently believe that achievement is mainly a product of hard work, rather than inherited intelligence, suggests that education and its social context can make a difference in instilling values that foster success in education,” said Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s director of education.

This is also a lesson which Malaysian educationists, teachers and students must imbibe, but how can we begin such a process when Malaysia is even disqualified and de-recognised from the PISA 2015 Report?

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