Irish teens are above average in mathematics, reading, and science across the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to the newly published Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022.
Ireland's Minister for Education Norma Foley launched the PISA 2022 report that shows Irish students are significantly above average in mathematics, reading, and science.
5,569 students in 170 schools in Ireland participated in PISA 2022, with tests held in October and November last year. In total, 600,000 15-year-olds took the PISA tests in 81 countries/economies, including 37 OECD countries and 26 EU countries.
Ireland’s placing amongst the 81 countries taking part in the PISA project has improved in all three domains since 2018.
Ireland’s 15-year-olds are the best performing in reading literacy in the EU and the OECD, and come behind only Singapore in the overall ranking of 81 countries.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show Ireland’s 15 year-olds are among the best in reading literacy. There was only one other country, Singapore, that had a significantly higher average performance. @ERC_irl #PISAIRL #OECDPISA pic.twitter.com/6oqQN8oUME— Department of Education (@Education_Ire) December 5, 2023
In science literacy, Irish students have moved from 22nd place to 12th place overall and from 11th to 3rd in the EU.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 showed a significant increase in science scores compared to the 2018 PISA. Moving from twenty-second place to twelfth in the overall listing and from eleventh to third in EU countries @ERC_irl#PISAIRL #OECDPISA pic.twitter.com/Vn9DvvYa2b— Department of Education (@Education_Ire) December 5, 2023
In mathematical literacy, Irish students have moved from 21st place to 11th place and are performing higher than the OECD average.
OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 results show Ireland’s 15 year-olds are performing significantly higher than the OECD average in mathematics moving from twenty-first to eleventh place in the rankings for mathematics. @ERC_irl #PISAIRL #OECDPISA pic.twitter.com/FmyDWA1ItS— Department of Education (@Education_Ire) December 5, 2023
PISA is a project of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), of which Ireland is a member. PISA takes place every three years and aims to measure how well 15-year-old students are performing in three areas - reading, mathematics, and science.
The report further found that there are considerably fewer low-performing students in Ireland in reading, science, and mathematics compared to the average across OECD countries.
Both male and female students in Ireland significantly outperformed the OECD average in all three domains.
“The results are extremely positive news for Ireland," Minister Foley said on Tuesday.
"We have retained our place among a small set of high-achieving countries at a time where particular strain was put on school communities globally due to COVID-19.
"We have also ensured that the number of low-achieving students remains amongst the lowest in the 81 countries tested.
“PISA 2022 was delayed by one year due to the impact of COVID-19 on our education system. The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, but the resilience shown by schools during this time is to be commended.
"I want to particularly pay tribute to the dedication of teachers and school leaders to provide a stable and supportive learning environment for all our students. Well done of course to the students themselves who have demonstrated remarkable focus and determination to deliver such impressive results."
The Minister continued: “Irish students have extremely high standards when it comes to reading, among the best there is.
"There was only one other country, Singapore, that had a significantly higher average performance. The overall trend in our reading performance has remained stable between 2018 and 2022.
“For science, it is fantastic to see how well we have done with a significant improvement between 2018 and 2022. Only 2% of the Irish students who took PISA 2018 had experienced the new Junior Cycle science curriculum. We are now seeing the effects of the specifications in the system and will continue to see this develop over time.
“Our mathematics results have declined since 2018 but comparator countries such as Poland, Finland, and Sweden have experienced a steeper decline than Ireland. We have managed to move from 21st to 11th place in the listings for mathematics and our students are still performing at above-average level.
"We can learn from these results and put measures in place to help to further develop our students’ critical thinking."