OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey for 2012 has moved New Zealand’s performance downwards in maths, reading and science.
The country continues to score above OECD average in mean PISA scores across mathematics, reading and science (at 500, 512 and 516 respectively), even though the annualised score points have dropped by 2.5 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent for each of the subject areas.
In the global rankings, New Zealand currently stands 18th in science, and 23rd in maths, a drop from previous 7th and 12th placements.
Countries like Singapore, Poland and Germany rank above New Zealand and have positively increased their position since the last survey. Australia, Ireland and Denmark, despite also moving backwards, still outrank New Zealand.
New Zealand Technology Industry Association Chief Executive, Candace Kinser, has reacted to the survey results by saying the country’s tech industry stands to lose on competitiveness against significant trading partners like China, South Korea and other Asian countries.
“I am calling on the government to act quickly to turnaround the situation. A good place to start is by learning from the countries that are getting it right with the education of their young. Maths and science are critical subjects for New Zealand to be improving upon, not going backwards,” said Kisner.
Technology and innovation is one of the fastest growing industries in New Zealand, and is predicted to become the highest income earner for the country by 2020.