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Swiss students do well in education survey

Swiss teenagers‘ ability in reading, maths and science are significantly higher than the average of their peers in 65 countries, an international survey shows.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of the 2009 Pisa study on Tuesday.

It was based on the results of tests taken by some 470,000 15 year olds in the 34 member countries of the organisation and in 31 partner states.

In Switzerland about 10,000 students took part. The 2009 study put the emphasis on reading ability, as it did in the first survey in 2000.

Swiss students moved up six points in comparison with 2000, and joined the group of countries which were significantly above the OECD average.

The only European country with significantly better results in reading than Switzerland was Finland.

In Switzerland the greatest improvement was in the reading abilities of children who were born abroad, or with parents born abroad.

In 2000 such children scored 86 points less than their Swiss peers, while in 2009 they were only 48 points behind.

The study showed that the more privileged the social economic background of the student, the better their competence in reading. This was true not only of Switzerland but of the OECD as a whole.

In all 34 OECD countries, children who had had more than one year pre-primary education had better reading competence than those who had not.

In mathematics the Swiss came near the top of the ranking list. Only students in certain parts of China, Singapore and South Korea did significantly better.

Swiss students also showed good results in science, where they were significantly above the OECD average.

Nieghbouring Germany and Liechtenstein had comparable results, while the averages in France, Austria and Italy were clearly lower.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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