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 .
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