Colombian students scored last place in an international problem solving test, released on Tuesday, involving students from 44 countries.
The results of the global survey compared the results of 15 year old students across mathematics, reading and science.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test is run by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) every three years. The results released Tuesday are from the 2012 assessment in which 85,000 students took part.
According to the PISA report, the test aims to document whether students close to finishing compulsory education, “have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies.”
Colombian students came in last place, scoring 399 compared to a mean score of 500.
Asian countries dominated the results with Singapore in first place scoring 562 points, while only 1.2% of Colombian students who took the test scored were among the top performers.
The report states that, “the low performance of Latin American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Uruguay) appears to be mainly due to a large performance gap on knowledge-acquisition,” and suggests, improving students’ performance through “exploring and understanding.”
Another worrying revelation was that Colombia has the highest gender disparity among all 44 countries surveyed, with boys outscoring girls by 31 points on average.
The report warned that, “unless countries invest as much in the development of girls’ skills as they do in boys’ skills, they may lose out in the global competition for talent.”
Education minister, Maria Fernanda Campo, responded on her twitter, “in order to give a serious and informed debate, I will make clarifications on the analysis published by PISA regarding the problem solving test.”
The education minister said that national tests will be reformed to and aligned with PISA, to train children in the format of international tests.
Mejoramos la pruebas SABER para alinearlas con PISA. Así, nuestros niños se entrenan en el tipo de preguntas de las pruebas internacionales.
— María Fernanda Campo (@MariaFCampo) April 1, 2014