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International study shows Hong Kong students' outstanding performance in mathematics and science

The Education Bureau (EDB) today (November 29) said it was glad to learn that Hong Kong students had maintained outstanding performance in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015.

"The performance of Hong Kong students was remarkable. In mathematics, our Primary Four (P4) students ranked second and Secondary Two (S2) students ranked fourth. In science, our P4 students ranked fifth and S2 students ranked sixth. Their performance had been consistently well above the international average, which is encouraging," an EDB spokesman said.

TIMSS 2015, organised by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, aimed to study the achievements in mathematics and science at Grade 4 (P4 in Hong Kong) and Grade 8 (S2 in Hong Kong). This year, nearly 60 countries and regions participated in the assessments.

In mathematics, the performance of Hong Kong P4 students progressed from third in TIMSS 2011 (i.e. the previous round) to second in TIMSS 2015, and Hong Kong's score of 615 was, statistically, not significantly different from first-ranking Singapore's 618. At S2, Hong Kong's performance was comparable to that of TIMSS 2011, with an unchanged ranking at fourth and a score of 594, which was not significantly different from third-ranking Chinese Taipei's 599.

In science, the ranking of Hong Kong P4 students rose from ninth in TIMSS 2011 to fifth in TIMSS 2015 with a score of 557, while that of S2 students rose from eighth to sixth with a score of 546, which was, statistically, not significantly different from fifth-ranking Slovenia's 551.

Furthermore, compared with the previous round, a greater percentage of Hong Kong students had reached the advanced level of the international benchmark in both subjects and both grades. In the 2015 study, the percentage of Hong Kong students reaching the advanced level in mathematics was 45 per cent for P4 and 37 per cent for S2 (up from 37 per cent and 34 per cent respectively in 2011). In science, it was 16 per cent for P4 and 12 per cent for S2 (up from 9 per cent for both in 2011).

"Our education aims to facilitate students' learning and nurture high-level thinking and generic skills to achieve the development of the whole person. Our primary concern in curriculum design and delivery is the interest of students and their learning outcomes. We shall draw reference from, among others, the findings of international studies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our students so as to enhance their learning. Our focus is therefore not on the international ranking of our students' performance but rather on conducting regular reviews for the purpose of maintaining high quality in education," the spokesman said.

He added that the EDB will analyse the findings of TIMSS 2015 in detail and will continue to collaborate with the education sector, parents and members of the community to sustain the balanced development and good performance of students.

Background information and key statistics of TIMSS 2015 are in the Annex.

29.11.2016


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