Freshmen students from Colombia’s capital Bogota lack adequate reading and writing skills, according to a shocking recent university investigation.
An investigation conducted by the Sabana University in Bogota that tested students from 12 institutions of higher education in the city
The results were shocking: Bogota’s high school graduates have low levels of reading, writing and comprehension skills.
The study highlighted that many Colombian students are unable to comprehend and analyse basic academic material due to their inadequate reading and writing skills.
“The freshmen of universities of the capital cannot write an essay, have poor spelling and lack of skills in reading comprehension,” Mariano Lozano, Professor of Language and Research Director, told Semana magazine.
“The student is usually very careless with spelling, punctuation and especially accentuation; in High School, class of Spanish or literature, little is taught about the management of spelling rules,” added Lozano.
This was a problem that was highlighted by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) report last year which reported that 51.4% of Colombian students failed to meet adequate standards for reading and writing.
According to the findings of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which evaluates students of 15 years old in a variety of areas, 47% of Colombian grades were below the minimum level of testing.
In the interview, Lozano blamed low quality standards in high school education for the poor performances of their students.
“Reading and writing exercises are in place, because they’re established in the programs, but what is lacking is a policy that determines some level of competence.”
Juan Carlos Vergara of the same university said that because the competence levels are not put in place by the education system, a student’s language proficiency now depends on whether or not “the student is fortunate to have a very good language teacher.”
The study urged policy makers to improve public literacy instruction to ensure Colombian students improve their performance once they leave high school.
The pending publication of the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results will provide more detailed and up to date data about the deficiencies in literary skills.