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Home arrow newsitems arrow OECD Education Head Schleicher to EF: Global Stagnation on Science Students Performance may Hide Gap

OECD Education Head Schleicher to EF: Global Stagnation on Science Students Performance may Hide Gap

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 06 December 2016

 oecd_pisa_2015_400

*Strasbourg/OECD Webinar/Angelo Marcopolo/- A Global tendency to augment a Gap in Students' Performance in Science, (from 15 years old), appears during the latest Decade or so, even if it's mainly driven by a Deceleration of former Middle-level areas, as OECD's Directior of Education, Andreas Schleicher acknowleded in fact, in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question, during a special Webinar Q & A Internet Exchange where we had been Invited to actively participate, on this 6 December 2016 Day of Publication of the latest, 2015-made, International Student Assessment Program (known as "PISA") Conclusions for 72 Countries Worldwide.

 

oecd_pisa__overall_global_trend_andreas_schloecher__eurofora_screenshot_400 


All in all, with Singapoor as First on 2015, China ranks Today always far Above OECD Average, among the Top Countries Worldwide, near Japan, Viet-Nam, Korea and Canada, followed by Australia (at the Pacific Ocean), as well as Finland, Estonia and Slovenia, Before Germany and Switzerland, etc., (i.e. Middle European Countries, between East and West), etc.

 

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- "Eurofora"'s asked whether OECD found that "a Lack of Global Progress in PISA (between the Previous Assessment of 2006, and the Latest, New one, of 2015 : i.e. after almost a Decade) might, in fact, Hide a Growing Gap", (among Countries, and/or other Areas, Schools, Students, etc), "or not". 

agg_at_oecd_webinar__eurofora_400

 ------------

 
 - "Not Necessarily", reacted initialy, but after Careful Thought, OECD's Director of Education, and Special Advisor of OECD's Secretary General, Angel Guria, Andreas Schleicher, However, withOut Excluding that it might be, indeed, the case, in one way or another...


 - "I think that What we (OECD) did see, is that there are some Countries, at the very Top", ("Singapoor is the most prominent example", together with Macao, in China, etc), which  Keep Rising", he admitted.


 - "Meanwhile, there are Countries at the Bottom keep Catching up", Schleicher added.


 - "But, there are still Countries in the Middle Group, that have become somewhat Complacent", ("in other words, they are not changing significantly") ,"and there has been a Lack of Progress in sort of Moving Forward", he concluded.

 

oecd_education_chief_schleicher__eurofora_400

 



+ In fact, it's no more about a simple Divide between Rich and well Educated Countries, and Poor and Less Educated Countries, since several Middle or Developing Countries are currently Catching up, i.e. by investing comparatively more in Education than elsewhere, (f.ex. Perou, Colombia, etc), Schleicher observed earlier.


+ To this is added, often, also "a Huge Viarability inside Schools, between Classes", etc, OECD's Education Director pointed out.


------------


- As far as the overall, Global situation is concerned, indeed, Worldwide, "Since 2006, Less than 1 Quarter (1/4, 25%) of the Countries are Improving their Performance", denounced previously Today, OECD's Secretary General, Angel Guria, speaking from London, at a Parallel event, for this same purpose.

 

oecd_sg_angel_guria_on_appartheid_in_science_educ_400

 


+ This doesn't seem normal, and may provoke concern, also  "Because", at the Same Time, "Science itself is Moving at Lighting Speed", (from "Digital", Physics, Biology, to "Medicine", etc), he observed.


"But the Education of Science", at a Global level, has not moved at the Same Speed", i.e. "Science Education isn't Keeping up", (particularly compared to "Science itself"), and, "this Means, that a Cumulative Debt is created, and Every Day adds to it", Guria Warned.


------


In Real Practice, however, Certain Schools might be Performing much Better than Others, in one a same Country, during this period :


- F.ex., France gets an "Average" OECD overall Assessment in PISA, while, in Fact, "a Minority" of French Schools are "performint at very High Levels, compared to the Best Performing Countries", , but "a sizeable Number of Other Schools and Students have a very Low Performance", pointed out in substance PISA-competent OECD Analyst, Carlos González-Sancho, who holds a PhD from Oxford. France is one of the OECD Countries most affected by "Wide Disparities", but "Not Alone", he warned.

Concerning China, another Participant asked whether there was a "Fall in China's results", since, "when Shanghai had participated as a Municipality, in 2012, it was No 1 (of OECD) in all domains", while, "Now", when "3 other Provinces have been added", the "overall Performance (apparently) has Fallen". "Is this a Statisticlly Significant Drop, and What Explains it ?", he queried.  


 - "In this case, I doN't think that we can speak of a Drop, or Increase", compared to the Past, "Simply, Because it's Not Comparable", denied the PISA-specialist OECD Official.
Indeed, "Shanghai's Performance, as a Single Entity, in the Past, and what we (OECD) have this year, which is the Group of 4 Provinces, we canNot say that it has Droped, or gone Up, ...because they are Not the Same Entities".


=> Only "in the Future, if China chooses to Continue with the Current Format of Participation, we (OECD) could speak of a Trend". But, "for the moment, it's Not yet the case, and we canNot speak of a Trend" currently, he Carefuly pointed out. 

                                               
*** Last, but not least, OECD's PISA Specialist, significantly Added, at his own Initiative, the Hypothesis for Shanghai, (which notoriously was No 1 in the World on 2012), to have not "droped, as some (surprized of that 2015 Data's Differend Presentation) questioned,  but, perhaps, rather, "Gone (Further) Up",... as he Warned, in Conclusion.


I.e., mutatis-mutandis, according to a quite Widespread Trend, nowadays Visible almost entirely, at a Global Level, at least as far as Science Education is concerned, (Comp. also Supra).


>>> In other words, it's Urgent, both for China itself, and for the accuracy of OECD's World-wide Assessment on Student's Performances, to clearly Bring Shanghai back in the Map in a Crystal-clear way, f.ex. by including that City in the Next PISA for the 2016-2019 Period (which is just Starting Nowadays), in a Format Comparable (to the Past and/or to the Present) :


-  I.e. if not also as a City, (as in the 2012 Past), at least anew as a Part of a Group of Chinese Regions SImilar to the current 4 (of this 2015 PISA), in order for the Paris-based International Organisation to be Able to Compare in the Future (2012-2018 or 2015-2018 periods), analyse various Possible Causes, and propose Adequate Mesures.


Otherwise, its recent Merger with 3 Other Regions, in the latest such Query made by the International Organisation based in France (Paris), risks to give False Impressions, as far as overall Trends are concerned.

---


Meanwhile, at least one Central Point is for Sure : Main Factors for Science Education Performance amelioration Worldwide are "Students' Motivation", as well as "Quality of Teaching", more Widely speaking, as OECD's Education Director, Andreas Schleicher, highlighted, in conclusion of this almost 10 Years-long OECD Comparison in that field (2006-2015) Today.

 

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Strasbourg hosts OECD's main Annual PanEUropean Parliamentarian Public Debates Forum, thanks to CoE's Assembly, which has 47 Member Countries (including Russia), and several More Observers or other Special status participants accross the World, (as, f.ex. USA, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, even Australia, etc, recently approached also by China, which has already got such a Status in CoE's body for Cities + Regions : CLRAE, etc), Regularly visited, very actively, by OECD's Secretary General Angel Gurria himself, during Many Years, (Comp., f.ex., several Angel Gurria statements to "Eurofora"+, both in Paris' OECD Headquarters and elsewhere, but more often in Strasbourg's COE HQ).

 

(../..)


***

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

imag0082_400

Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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