PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2018 has improved.
It is approaching the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average in three forms of literacy — namely reading, mathematics and science.
Education director-general Amin Senin said based on the Pisa 2018 results, Malaysian students scored 415 points for reading, 440 for mathematics and 438 for science.
“This achievement shows that Malaysia has now moved up to the middle one-third countries participating in this international assessment, instead of the bottom one-third as was the case in previous results,” he said at a press conference announcing Malaysia’s Pisa 2018 achievements here today.
“This achievement also shows that Malaysia has performed better than any other Asean member country, except for Singapore.”
Amin said the Pisa 2018 involved 6,111 participants, selected to represent 388,638 of the 15-year-old students in the country.
It showed that students only read when they are forced to or for a specific purpose, rather than as an interest.
Despite the lack of interest in reading as a hobby, the survey indicated students were especially interested in comics, besides fictional and non-fictional books, he added.
Amin said the OECD reports also recorded a drop in the use of printed materials. This could be attributed to the digital age, namely access to chat rooms and easily-available reading materials on news sites or portals.
“The percentage of Malaysian students reading and searching for information online has increased significantly, and almost equals the OECD average,” he said.
Amin said 77% of boys read only for the information needed, compared to 58% of girls.
About 73% of female students stated reading as a hobby compared with 52% for boys, he said.