Mal­tese 13-yearolds im­prove their math­e­mat­i­cal and sci­ence com­pe­tences

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Mal­tese 13-year-olds have im­proved their scores in an in­ter­na­tional study mea­sur­ing math­e­mat­i­cal and sci­ence com­pe­tences of stu­dents from across 39 coun­tries, the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry said in a state­ment.

The study, known as TIMSS (Trends in In­ter­na­tional Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence Study) shows that lo­cal 13-year-old stu­dents (year 9) have ob­tained 494 score points in Math­e­mat­ics in the 2015 study, plac­ing Malta in the 20th po­si­tion.

This is six marks more than the last time the study was done in Malta, back in 2007. In Sci­ence, Mal­tese stu­dents ob­tained an av­er­age of 481 score points which is 24 ad­di­tional marks than 2007, plac­ing it in the 22nd po­si­tion.

The im­proved scores show that the ef­forts taken be­tween 2007 and 2015 to im­prove com­pe­tences in math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence have left a pos­i­tive mark. The in­ter­na­tional study takes place ev­ery four years how­ever in the 2011 study Malta’s con­tri­bu­tion was in a younger age group than this year’s.

The TIMSS study in­cludes a num­ber of ques­tion­naires that are com­pleted by the stu­dents, by heads of schools and by teach­ers of Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence. These ques­tion­naires show that higher pro­por­tions of Mal­tese stu­dents like learn­ing Sci­ence sub­jects than they do Math­e­mat­ics while male stu­dents value Math­e­mat­ics more than fe­male stu­dents. Then again there is no sig­nif­i­cant gen­der dif­fer­ence for the value given to Sci­ence sub­jects.

The pro­por­tion of heads of schools (50%) in Malta stat­ing that their schools ex­pe­ri­ence neg­li­gi­ble dis­ci­plinary prob­lems is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the in­ter­na­tional av­er­age (43%). On the other hand, 64% of Mal­tese stu­dents tak­ing part in TIMSS re­ported that they hardly ever ex­pe­ri­enced bul­ly­ing.

This study also showed that the pro­por­tions of Mal­tese, Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence teach­ers with less than 10 years teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence (47% and 53% re­spec­tively) are sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the in­ter­na­tional av­er­ages (37% and 38%).

Links to the TIMSS 2015 In­ter­na­tional Re­port and the cor­re­spond­ing TIMSS 2015 Malta Re­port can be found at edu.gov.mt/timss.

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