PISA results – Up to 95% of students in vocational high schools functionally illiterate

Students of vocational schools in Serbia have shown significantly worse results on the PISA test than their peers who attend grammar schools, according to an analysis in the just-published national report on the PISA testing.

The alarming data from the previous cycle of testing, which showed that 80 percent of students in vocational schools are functionally illiterate, is now even worse. Depending on the curriculum, between 79 and 95 percent of children have not reached functional literacy in reading and mathematics.

“The differences are extremely large between grammar school and vocational school students and go up to 150 points”, the report states.

The fewest number of illiterate students are found among general high school and grammar school students – about 16 percent of them are considered illiterate in mathematics and 11 percent in reading, followed by four-year vocational schools (the percentage ranges from 38 to 72 in mathematics and 24 to 64 percent in reading) and, finally, there are three-year vocational school students where, on average, between 79 and even 95 percent of children do not even reach the basic level of literacy in both reading and mathematics.

When it comes to the types of high schools, the fewest functionally illiterate students in mathematics are found in medical schools – 38 percent and the highest in agricultural high schools – 95 percent.

In terms of reading, 24 percent of medical school students did not reach the level of functional literacy, while 87 percent of students attending three-year agricultural schools failed to do so.

“Therefore, differences in results may actually indicate differences in socioeconomic profile. When comparing different types of schools and considering that PISA testing is performed in the first grade of high school, this means that the results are primarily the consequence of primary school education. Accordingly, we investigated whether these differences persist when the socioeconomic profile of students is taken into account. The analysis showed that in that case the difference between grammar schools and other high schools has decreased, but remains statistically significant,” the researchers state in the report.

(Danas, 12.04.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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