Shanghai is Number One in World Education Rankings


A   global   educational   study   called PISA (Program for International   Assessment ) tests over 500,000 pupils in over 70 countries every three years. The 2010 results showed that pupils in Shanghai are the world’s best in reading mathematics and  science . PISA studies 15 year olds and their   abilities in the three fields.  The study did not rank China as a whole but Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao as   separate   countries.

South Korea, Singapore Taiwan and Japan were other Asian nations that   ranked   well. In many western countries the reading   score   was down. In Europe, Finland still stays in the number one spot although   it is   ranking   third overall. Americans are, at best,   average , ranking 17th   in reading, 23rd   in science and 31st   in mathematics.



Why have Asian countries overtaken Europe and America in the tests?  First, they put more   focus   on education.   Children, parents and teachers know that a good education is the   key   to being successful. They are not   tolerant   when pupils   fail . Asians believe that if you do hard and   succeed   in school you will be successful in your job as well.

Starting at a very early age China teaches its children that you can only succeed if you are better than the others. They are tested as soon as they come to school. Only the best can go to college and then get a good job. Examinations are held very often and lists of students rankings   are   posted   on the walls of a school. Shanghai students study much harder than western pupils do and they spend less time on   extracurricular   activities   or sport. Teachers are also   respected , paid well and   highly motivated .



Critics   of the Chinese school system say that it isn’t good if Chinese teachers   drill children for a test all the time. It does not prepare you for your future life. A   study   found out that almost half of Chinese businessmen say that students who come to them are not well prepared for the job they about to   take on .

Although   there may be some   disadvantages   in the Chinese school system, Chinese pupils get an   overall   better education at a very young age. Subject teachers teach children from the start   whereas   in other countries one teacher teachers all subjects in the early grades .

China’s   one child policy   makes it easier for families to concentrate on their   only   child and give it the best education possible.  Children spend a lot of time in school and learning with their parents a home. But there are also some negative   side effects .  More and more students   commit suicide   because they   fear   they cannot live with   failure .

The   OECD   report also found out that countries in which students had to   repeat   years ranked   badly. There is also a difference between boys and girls.  Girls are better at reading while boys generally   perform   better in maths.


Related Topics


  • ability   = skill, talent
  • although   = while
  • assessment   = you try to find out how good someone is by testing them
  • average   = not better or worse than the others
  • commit suicide   = to kill yourself
  • critic   =  someone who is against an idea or plan
  • disadvantage   = bad side
  • drill   = to teach children by making them do the same exercises all the time
  • extracurricular activity   =  something that students do outside of school, in their free time
  • fail   = to do badly, not to succeed
  • failure   = not a success
  • fear   = to be afraid
  • focus   = to concentrate more on
  • global   = worldwide
  • grade   = school year
  • highly motivated   = to really like to do something because you find it interesting or you like it a lot
  • key   = answer, solution
  • OECD   = Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development = a group of rich countries that work together to make their economy grow
  • one child policy   = every family is allowed to have only one child; if they have more they must pay taxes and have other disadvantages
  • only   = single
  • overall   = general
  • perform   = to do work
  • post   = put
  • rank   = position of something or someone in a list
  • repeat   = to do again
  • respect   = to have a high opinion of
  • science   = knowledge about the world  and nature
  • score   = points
  • separate   = different
  • side effect   = unexpected or unplanned result
  • spot   = place
  • study   = work that is done to find out more information on a certain subject
  • take on   = start
  • tolerant   = liberal, understanding
  • whereas   = while