OECD’s PISA survey shows some countries making significant gains in learning outcomes.
Based on tests carried out among 400,000 students in 57 countries in 2006, the latest PISA survey focuses particularly on students’ abilities in comprehending and tackling scientific problems.
At a time when scientific and technological know-how is helping to drive growth in advanced economies, the results of PISA 2006 reveal wide variations in skills levels. Student attitudes to science will be crucial to countries’ economic potential in tomorrow’s world, and PISA 2006 gives a detailed picture of how well students around the world are prepared for the challenges of a knowledge society.
The top performer in science in PISA 2006 was Finland, followed by Hong Kong-China, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Estonia, Japan and New Zealand.
It's was not a news to me that the level of education in Estonia is very good (heh partially a legacy of the Soviet era, I guess. It had its pluses).
Being now in Brazil, which is a country of 180 million people (large!! especially in comparision to Estonia), with much higher unemployment rate and a huge number of people competing for both blue and white collar jobs, among them the around 25 000 master students that graduate each year (if I remember correctly), I often started to wonder how competitive is one with an education from a country that hardly anyone has heard of.
I think in terms of Estonian universities, we still have a few leaps to take to get ourselves on the global scene (should that ever be possible), but according to PISA, the high school education is there already.
That`s an encouraging sign especially considering the challenges Estonia faces like a lack of teachers, not very competitive pay etc.