STA, 3 December 2019 - The results of Slovenian 15-year-olds in reading, scientific and mathematical literacy tests are above the OECD average, shows the recent PISA study. Compared to the previous such study, the students have come off as less accomplished in reading and science literacy though.
The results of the study, which was conducted last year among some 6,400 15-year-olds, mostly secondary school first year students, have confirmed that Slovenian students of this age group excel in mathematical literacy.
Their scientific literacy is above the OECD average as well; however, the latest performance in this category shows a slight downturn - the same goes for the students' reading literacy, which significantly improved in 2015 compared to the PISA studies conducted in 2009 and 2012, but has now declined a bit.
Compared to the 2006 study, the first time such a study was conducted in Slovenia, the students' reading literacy in 2018 was pretty much the same, their mathematical literacy improved and scientific literacy slightly deteriorated, according to the Educational Research Institute, which carried out the Slovenian part of the study.
Last year's decline in reading literacy is a result of a worse performance across the spectrum, with the share of worst performers increasing by three percentage points to 18%.
Commenting on these developments, Education Minister Jernej Pikalo said that his ministry might have to discuss the efficiency of related measures from 2009.
Regarding scientific literacy, the average downturn resulted from a worse performance of the best performers, with their share dropping by four percentage points to 7%.
Meanwhile, girls achieved better results than boys in reading as well as scientific literacy last year - the former's performance was significantly better on average than in other OECD countries.
Slovenian students are also less motivated than their OECD peers worldwide - compared to 2009, the students' enjoyment experienced during reading in 2018 remained below the OECD average, with the students often expressing disappointment over the engagement and support of their teachers of the Slovenian language.
The minister is concerned over this lack of motivation, saying digital media were a distraction that pulls students away from books, while also highlighting that the signal regarding the teachers of Slovenian needs to be acknowledged.
The study also showed that the students spent an hour more on the internet in 2018 than in 2012 - altogether, more than three hours per day, which Pikalo thinks is another cause for concern.
The minister pointed out that the results did not necessarily always depict the actual situation in schools; however, he did acknowledge that Slovenia's educational system should cater better to gifted students.
He also highlighted that students needed to be able to not only understand texts but also to contextualise and use new information in the future.
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