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Competitiveness / Health



Swedish children continue to perform poorly in reading and maths - new testing show

Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Swedish children in the 4th grade have been classed as poor within the EU when it comes to literacy and among eighth graders, the results in mathematics has become worse.

This has come from two international knowledge measurements that were presented on Tuesday.
This is going to heap more worried on the Swedish school system that has been twisted and turned hopping that it would give better results. It will also mean that schools leavers would not be attractive n the job market hence low earnings.

"We continue to see declining academic achievement, especially in math. But there is a glimmer of light. For the first time we see an improvement, and that is that Swedish students in grades four actually perform better in science subjects, compared to what they did four years ago," says the General director of the National School Agency, Skolverkets, Anna Ekström to Swedish television.

The fourth graders' reading skills have deteriorated further since the last testing  in 2006, but is still above the EU average and the OECD, according to the assessment shown from PIRLS 2011 . The deterioration is according to  Skolverket mainly because students become worse at reading fiction. 2001 students performed  was better in the same survey.

For mathematics, the results is the same for fourth graders as the previous test in 2007, but below the EU / OECD average. In science, the skills have improved and are above average.
Among Eighth graders the results in mathematics fell further since the last test in 2007 and below the EU average. In science, the results remains on the same level as in 2007 but still below average.

Survey responses show that students find it fun with math and science in grades four, but that interest has cooled in grade eight.

"We see the same trend in other countries, but unlike Sweden, there is success in other countries in the OECD as it is better to teach students math and science between grades. It is an interesting observation that gives us a basis to learn more about what other countries are doing and what Sweden is doing worse."

To reverse the negative trend, "I want to strike a blow to teachers who get a chance to develop their skills so they can perform better at educating. There are no shortcuts to a good school. It is through interesting activities in school that encourages students to learn more," says Anna Ekström.

 Swedish minister of Education, Jan Björklund call the results in the two surveys "worrisome", although fourth grade results in math and science was better than he expected.
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