December 08, 2004

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Growing pains

Hong Kong's schoolchildren have scored top results in an international comparison of math skills. The OECD's PISA report ranked HK students as top in maths, second in problem solving, third in science and seventh in reading for an overall top ranking of all countries surveyed. A victory for HK's education system? Not necessarily.

The same survey also found HK students had the worst perception of their schooling. More than half said school had done little to prepare them for adult life, 13% said school was a waste of time and they had the lowest sense of "belonging" out of all students surveyed. Despite the Government's efforts, schooling in HK remains about only one thing: getting good marks. This sausage factory approach means schools teach but they don't educate. It is made worse by the huge pressure parents put their children under to perform to the exclusion of all else. This survey is not a good result for Hong Kong.

posted by Simon on 12.08.04 at 10:30 AM in the


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Japanese education statistics drop
Excerpt: The OECD's figures for its 2003 education survey are out, and Japan's rankings have fallen. The Mainichi's English report is here and is, naturally, not as complete as its original Japanese report here. What's interesting, as it so often is,...
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Where did the US rank? At least in HK they teach reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic...

posted by: kennycan on 12.08.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]

I was afraid to look but I did anyway. And my suspicions were verified. Americans "feel good" and "feel a sense of belonging" about their education though.

posted by: kennycan on 12.08.04 at 12:41 PM [permalink]

I agree schooling in HK is the pits. It would take a negligent monster of a father to put his kids through the school system there.

posted by: paul on 12.08.04 at 12:46 PM [permalink]

Hong Kong did not have the "worst perception of their schooling".

It's true that the Hong Kong students reported that schools were not preparing them for their adult life.

However, they did very well (relative to other nations) on other attitudinal measures. For example, most of the HK students reported they were "interested in" and "enjoyed" mathematics. 45% said they looked forward to mathematics classes. Those figures are all above average.

posted by: Chris C. on 12.09.04 at 09:46 PM [permalink]

The kids might be looking forward to maths class, but if half are saying the school isn't preparing them for adult life, I take that to be a poor perception of their schooling.

posted by: Simon on 12.10.04 at 12:01 PM [permalink]

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