PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is going in the right direction of education system reform, said education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin.
According to him, its performance in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), its ranking improved significantly for all three domains, namely Science, Mathematics and Reading literacies.
He said the results also moved the country up into the middle one-third countries participating in the international assessment, from being in the bottom one-third in previous cycles.
Based on results released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Malaysia scored 440 in Mathematics, 415 in Reading and 438 in Scientific literacy in PISA 2018, he said.
“This showed Malaysia has improved compared to PISA 2015 and 2012 where it achieved below the global average score.
"Overall, Malaysia's achievement showed significant increase in all three domains.
"There were also improvements among high-achieving and low-achieving students.
"The results showed we are approaching the OECD average. The ministry aims to achieve above the global average and position Malaysia in the top one-third countries by end of another two cycles," he told reporters today.
Amin added Malaysia's achievement in all three domains also put the country above other Asean countries, except Singapore.
In the PISA 2015 and 2012, Malaysian students scored 446 and 421 points respectively in Mathematics, Science (443 and 420) and Reading (398 and 431).
The PISA, administered by the OECD, is a triennial survey of 15-year-old students that assesses the extent to which they have acquired key knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society.
The assessment focuses on proficiency in reading, mathematics, science as well as on students' well-being.
Amin said the PISA 2018's survey on Malaysian students also noted that they do not enjoy reading as a hobby compared to the survey on students in PISA 2009.
"The findings also showed that students only read when they are forced to, or for a specific reason, not as an interest.
"The three reading material enjoyed by students according to the survey are comics, and fictional and non-fictional books.
"The ministry will look into this reading trends among students,"he said.
For PISA 2018, Dr Amin said 6,111 students from 191 schools were chosen to represent Malaysia. These students were assessed and compared with students from 72 OECD and non-OECD countries.