Making news

Vietnam gets high scores but not named in PISA 2018 ranking

Vietnam has missed out in the ranking of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 despite getting high scores.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, the country scores 505 points (ranking 13th) in the reading test, 496 (ranking 24th) in maths, and 543 (ranking 4th) in science.

PISA 2018 measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges in 79 participating countries and economies.

The news has left many people raising their eyebrows while Vietnam was already among top 20 countries that had students gaining the best achievements under the PISA 2017’s ranking, which usually see the names of highly developed nations.

This year edition of PISA results was issued on December 3 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The education ministry explained there are two types of tests, paper-based and computer-based and Vietnam still hasn't switched to the newer form of testing.

Vietnam participated in PISA 2018 using paper-based instruments. This year, only students in Argentina, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Republic of Northern Macedonia, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Vietnam still took the paper test.

By  the  time  the  ranking  was  published,  the  international  comparability of  Vietnam’s performance  in  reading,  mathematics  and  science  could  not  be  fully  ensured.  For this reason,  the  OECD  did  not  report comparisons of Vietnam’s performance in PISA with other countries.

Initially, OCED suggested that Vietnam’s test data would be published in 2020. The organisation wanted to spend more time to delve into the difference of Vietnam’s test results, the ministry said.

However, thanks to the active cooperation of Vietnam in processing the data after the tests, the organisation agreed to announce the result of Vietnam with other nations on December 12, without naming the country in the ranking.

The ministry said OECD had sent the head of data analysis committee to Vietnam to evaluate the process of organising the test. The organisation said the country made no errors in the process of organising and scoring the test.

Following the PISA 2018 ranking, Asian countries once again came out on top. China and Singapore rank first and second, the Republic of Korea ranks 9th and Japan ranks 15th.

European countries such as Estonia, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are also in the high-ranking group.

PISA is an international study that was launched by the OECD in 1997, first administered in 2000 and now covers over 80 countries. Every three years, the PISA survey provides comparative data on 15-year-olds’ performance in reading, mathematics and science.

The Vietnamese education ministry said it wants to take part in PISA programme to see where Vietnamese students are placed in the world and to draw up an overall picture of the country's education situation in comparision to other countries' education, which will then help to formulate necessary policies.