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Disappointing results for Spanish school pupils in the PISA tests in science, maths and reading

36,000 pupils in Spain took the tests.
36,000 pupils in Spain took the tests. / EFE
  • The three-yearly tests evaluate education systems in different countries and indicate that Spain and Andalucía are below average

The results of the 2018 PISA tests (Programme for International Student Assessment) organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have just been released and although Spain did not come bottom of the class, the results can only be described as mediocre.

These tests, which take place every three years, aim to evaluate educational systems in different countries by comparing pupils' knowledge of maths, science and reading comprehension, and their ability to resolve problems, at the age of 15.

Three years ago Spain achieved the average mark for the countries which were assessed, but this year the results of the 36,000 pupils who took the exams took Spain back to the level of 2000, 14 points below the average for the most advanced countries. In fact, the OECD has only published the Spanish results in maths and science, because some of the pupils presented such"anomalies" in the answers to the reading tests that it affected the overall result for the group as a whole and it was impossible to compare it with that of other countries.

In Andalucía, the PISA results indicate that there has been no improvement in the educational system of this region in the past ten years and the marks are still some distance behind the national average.

In 2009 there was a difference of 19 points for science, which reduced to ten points in 2012, rose again to 20 in 2015 and is now still 12 points lower. With regard to maths, the marks for pupils in Andalucía were very similar to 2009 and have always been around 20 points behind the national average.

The 2018 PISA tests were taken by 2,100 students from 53 schools in the region, including 400 pupils from 10 schools in Malaga province.