10-year-old students in Hong Kong got an average score of 569 points for reading achievement, down by two points from 2011, when it was at the top of the list.
Out of the 50 countries that were assessed, Russia moved up to the number one spot with an average score of 581, while Singapore came in second with a score of 576.
The Education Bureau of Hong Kong commissioned the research team of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Advancement of Chinese Language Education and Research (CACLER) to oversee PIRLS research in the city.
Researchers surveyed more than 7,000 students and their parents and nearly 300 Chinese language teachers and school principals, involving a total of 139 primary schools.
Hong Kong University Professor Tse Shek-kam, who was in charge of the study, told ejinsight.com, “Students’ insufficient will of involvement means that they may give up halfway easily on things they do, leading them to a possibility of winning at the starting line but losing at the finishing line. Also the parents’ level of interest in reading can directly affect children’s reading attitude and scores.”
The PIRLS assessment, which has been running since 2001, follows a five-year cycle. It involves nine and 10-year-olds from grade 4 or year 5 completing comprehension tests and provides international comparative data on how well children read in different countries.
The study, which is run by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) in Amsterdam, and Boston College, USA, tested more than 319,000 students in 50 countries.