TIMSS study: Science, Maths scores improve significantly

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian students’ performance in mathematics and science have improved significantly, as measured by the Trends International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS) study 2015.

Education Director-General Khair Mohamad Yusof said Malaysia was among 16 countries that recorded the highest score in science, at 471 points in TIMSS 2015, an increase of 45 points from the score of 426 in TIMSS 2011.

For mathematics, Malaysia was among 18 countries that recorded improvements when it scored 465 points, an increase of 25 points from the figure in TIMSS 2011.

“Malaysia is now ranked at mid-table in the list of participating countries,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

Thirty-nine countries participated in TIMSS 2015, with Singapore scoring the highest at 621 points for mathematics and 597 points for science.

Khair said among the contributing factors for the increased scores were teachers and principals possessing higher educational qualifications, the positive environment in schools, principals emphasising academic success, teachers’ active involvement in professional development programmes, and high-level thinking skills and assessments.

TIMSS is an international bench-marking study conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

Malaysia participated in TIMSS to see the effectiveness of the science and mathematics lessons compared to that in other countries.

TIMSS 2015 was held simultaneously across the country on Oct 28, 2014, with researchers randomly choosing 9,726 Form Two students from 207 schools nationwide.

The large-scale TIMSS survey is conducted every four years and Malaysia participated in TIMSS 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015.

Khair said the participation in TIMSS was beneficial in deciding on policy planning and improving the country’s education system to produce human capital who could compete globally.

“Hopefully, the initiatives taken in participating in TIMSS can help achieve the objectives outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2015.”

Khair said Malaysia aimed to achieve a score of 500 points in mathematics and science in TIMSS 2019.