Headline, February03, 2014



More important than individual country scores are the underlying trends. Asian systems are clearly no longer just hothouses for swots.

Their best performers have briskly extended opportunity to children  of poorer families, narrowing the achievement gap.

Chinese officials say other big urban centres will emulate Shanghai's stellar results by 2029.

Andreas Schleicher, who runs the PISA  tests behalf of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a Paris based think-tank for rich countries....

Notes that well over half of Shanghai's pupils had a ''deep conceptual knowledge''  of maths, as opposed to around 13% in middling countries like Britain. 

That pertained even for those from disadvantaged backgrounds: ''a remarkable performance''. concludes Mr Schleicher.

But the glory prompts questions. One concerns the psychological price paid. Asian children have a brutal load of after school classed and the system is harsh on failure.

Others question the methodology   -some think that making education systems PISA friendly has become a skill in itself. Scores do not show, for instance, how well pupils can apply what they have learned in later life.

Politicians claim that FISA justify their particular selection of policies. Britain's Conservative schools minister, Michael Gove, says the results vindicate his drive to change how schools are run.

But his opponents argue that his beloved free schools, modelled on Sweden's state-funded but independent  Friskola,  have not overall performance. Sweden fell well below the OECD average in overall rankings.

''The structure of education systems seems to count  for less than overall culture. England, Northern Ireland and Scotland have markedly different varieties of school-England has moved gradually over the past decade to greater managerial autonomy from local bureaucracies.

Scotland retains a centralised system and Northern Ireland kept selective schools. their results are very similar and none excel.

Overall, Asians and eastern Europeans are improving much faster than America and western Europe, regardless of how schools are organised.

New education stars can emerge and old ones fade fast. but the broader lesson may be simple, if brutal.

Successful countries focus fiercely on the quality of teaching and eschew zigzag changes in direction or philosophy. Teachers and families share a determination to help the young succeed 

Vietnam is now in eighth place for maths, besting many rich countries which spend far more. Pushy parenting helps too. Half of all Vietnamese  parents stay in regular contact with teachers to monitor their children's progress.

Having said that,... now, take a look at the Enrolment sweep of students in Pakistan through the ACER survey:

The incidence of  6-16  years of age  out-of-school children shows that despite public demand with respect to Article 25-A of the Constitution making education a fundamental right since 2010,

The State has not shown any overwhelming response as a large number of  5-16 years of age children are still out of schools.

The Balochistan and Sindh provinces have shown most appalling out-of-school students ratio at   33.8   per cent  and  29.1 per cent, respectively.

In Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan, the ratio of out-of-school children stands as high as  15.7 per cent each, and 14%  in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

With respectful dedication to all the Chief Ministers, heading provinces of Pakistan. See Ya all,  -Sirs, on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

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Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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