27 February 2015

Success of Polish lower secondary school students. Global results from PISA 2012 survey

Polish students are among the best in the European Union for the first time. They have improved their results in all three competence fields tested: mathematics, science, reading and interpreting. What is more, the results are significantly better in the group of both the best and the worst students. Results of Polish students were below the OECD average in 2003 and in subsequent surveys in 2006 and 2009 – at the OECD-average level, while in 2012 Polish students achieved results significantly above the OECD average.  No country has achieved such an increase.

– Polish lower secondary school students are among the best in Europe. This is one of the nicest information which has appeared in Poland in recent years. We are among leaders. Now, we stand at the winners’ stand in all three categories. This means that we have three reasons to be proud of and content. Firstly – our young generation is the most talented and the best prepared in Europe and in the whole world. Secondly – this means that our teachers are really great. These results are the effect of work of Polish people in difficult conditions. Thirdly – the education system, criticised so often, delivers good outcomes. Today, the Polish school does not need a revolution, and Polish teachers have good reasons to be satisfied with their work – said the Prime Minister, Donald Tusk during the official results announcement in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
– I asked PISA experts how it happened that we have managed to achieve such good results within such a short period of time. It has turned out that the first step was proper arrangement of problems which will be solved at the lower secondary school leaving examination. It was enough to change expectations concerning what we want to achieve at the examination so that teachers change their methods of work with students. We have achieved this result also thanks to the fact that mathematics is again among important subjects. In consequence, many young people decide to start scientific studies. My best congratulations to all lower secondary school students. My best compliments to teachers who had such good classes. My best compliments to my predecessors – said Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, Minister of National Education.

Krystyna Szumilas and Katarzyna Hall, former ministers of education, used to emphasise tremendous efforts of teachers and thank them for their work and for using potential of Polish students.

OECD representative, Richard Yelland, confirmed that all what was said was true. – My best congratulations to the Polish education system. You have achieved a great success. From now on, everybody will learn how Poland has become the world leader, how it is possible to achieve such a success – he added.

Poland is at the 1st place in the European Union when it comes to skills in mathematics – along with Holland, Estonia and Finland (4 countries have achieved the best results, differences between them are statistically insignificant – according to the international research standard). This is a real breakthrough. Polish students are better than students from other OECD countries in solving mathematical problems consisting in reasoning and argumentation as well as use and development of strategies.

Polish students are at the 1st place in the European Union with regard to reading and interpreting skills – together with Finland and Ireland (3 countries have achieved the best results, differences between them are statistically insignificant – according to the international research standard).

Poland is at the 3rd place in the European Union regarding reasoning in life sciences – after Finland and Estonia only.

We met the objective of the EU for 2020 already in 2012 which consists in reducing the percentage of under-skilled students threatened with exclusion to less than 15%. In the PISA 2012 survey, this percentage in Poland amounted to 14,4% in mathematics (in 2009 – 20.5%), 9% in science (in 2009 – 13.1%), and in reading 10.6% (in 2009 – 15%).

It is worth mentioning that in no country worldwide, the group of students having the best results has increased as much as in Poland. The percentage of the best students in mathematics amounts to 16.7% (in 2009 – 10.4%), in science – 10.8% (in 2009 – 7.6%), and in reading – 10.2% (2009 – 7.2%).

Students of the 58. Władysław IV. Lower Secondary School in Warsaw have been invited to take part in today’s (3 December) ceremony.
The PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey is carried out by the international consortium under supervision of OECD and representatives of member states. This is the largest international survey testing competences of students worldwide which has been carried out in all OECD countries and in several dozen partner countries every 3 years since 2000. Poland has been participating in the survey since the beginning. The results achieved are fully comparable with earlier editions of the PISA survey in Poland. In PISA 2012, students from 64 countries across the world took part.

In Poland, the survey was conducted by an expert team of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.


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