From today until April 18, Serbian pupils will take the PISA test, which evaluates their ability to understand and use the information provided to solve certain problems in everyday life.
Past results achieved by pupils in Serbia have been poor, and experts agree that not enough is invested in education, that society’s attitude towards education should change, including the attitude of educators, and that one of the biggest problems is the outdated school system, which needs a thorough reform.
Aleksandar Markov, from the Belgrade Gymnasium Forum, says that he does not expect any improvement in this year’s results compared to previous years. “I don’t think they will be different. In fact, I’m worried that maybe the results will be even worse,” he says and adds that the Serbian educational system has to be modernized, as most schools still use the methodology applied in the 1950s.
Jasna Janković, from the Teachers’ Union, says that the country is constantly at the bottom of the PISA charts. “Over the past decades, we have constantly tried to implement reforms, but they do not give concrete results,” she said, adding that the biggest mistake is not admitting that the system is wrong.
This year, the PISA test in Serbia is being conducted on 7,600 15-year-old students from 193 schools, selected at random. In 2003, students in Serbia were tested for the first time. The results published in 2019 startled Serbian education – one in three 15-year-old students in Serbia is functionally illiterate.
According to the results, Serbia is below the average compared to the OECD member countries. In previous years, in the Balkan region, Serbian students were better those in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, while Croatia and Slovenia were traditionally ahead.
Students from Asian countries, particularly from China, have the top ranking in the PISA Test, while the North European countries are best ranked in Europe.
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