A vast majority of students across the world are being sucked into a whirlpool of demotivation and poor performance. This results in further bad grades and increases disengagement from educational institutes. A study was done by the Program for International Student Assessment, that one in four students from the 15-year-old age group does not acquire proficiency in basic subjects. The core subjects that are assessed by PISA to reach this conclusion were Reading, Science, and Mathematics.
Inexact figures, these statistics mean that around thirteen million of this age group are poor performers in at least one of the three core subjects. The study was particularly based on the 65 countries that took part in the PISA event of 2012. Hence it was apparent that the number encompasses the majority of teenage students in some of the countries. Australian schools seem to be doing quite well when compared with other global institutions. Yet their share of low performing students also reaches one in five.
Bad performance at schools has long-term effects that are difficult to compensate. On both the national and individual levels. Students who are having performance issues at the age of fifteen are most likely to drop out of school. When a huge number of a population does not have basic skills, the economic growth of a country suffers greatly.
The economic productivity that is lost due to bad educational policies and practices leads to deeper damage. It leaves many nations in what can count as a permanent decline in their economy. It can be deeper and larger than the recession that hit at the start of the millennium. Which still has many countries in its grasp up till now. For countries with lower-middle-income, the discounted current value of the economic future can be ascertained. Thirteen times the present GDP can be gained if students reach the PISA’s base level of performance. Over the next eighty years, it can average out to a GDP that is twenty-eight percent higher.
Countries with an upper-middle income generally have a higher standard of learning outcome. Their GDP would average out to sixteen percent. In the case of Australia, the financial loss caused by poor student performance is $2000 billion AUD. It can imagine how beneficial such a sum would be if it was used to improve learning outcomes instead. Bringing down the number of poorly performing pupils is not something that serves a single goal. It is also a great way to ensure that the education system is improved on the whole.
Further on, it promotes equity as well. Since students who aren’t performing well usually belong to socio-economic disadvantaged households. There are several countries though who have made efforts to improve student performance in the core subject of Mathematics. Those countries include:
According to research bad performance at the age of fifteen is not the consequence of a single factor. It is much rather a mix of disadvantages and barriers that affect students all through their academic phase. For instance, what kind of student will most probably be a poor performer in Math? It is most likely to be a student having a socio-economic disadvantaged background. They would be living in a single-parent household in some rural sectors. Can also be coming from an immigrant family who speaks a totally different language. There can also be more factors like them not having attended pre-primary school or have repeated grades. Students having one or a combination of these issues tend to come in the low performing category.
These background problems can basically affect the majority of students. Yet particularly among poor performers it is much more damaging to disadvantaged pupils than to advantaged ones. In fact, the demographic factors increase the number of low performers in the disadvantaged more than advantaged students. On the other hand, a factor like a grade repeating or enrolling in a vocational track means trouble for advantaged students as well. In other terms, the disadvantages of students are encumbered with more risk factors. And these factors have a higher impact on their performance.
Students who are unable to perform well tend to have less patience, confidence, and motivation. Specifically, in the core subjects of Math, Science, and Reading. In comparison to other students, they are bound to skip school days or even particular classes. Students who have skipped school even once in two weeks tend to perform low in school. Whereas students who do not skip school are most likely to perform better in Math and other subjects.
Importantly, instructors who are more helpful and have good learning tools have a fewer number of low performers in class. While the pupils who have to face discouraging teachers tend to be absent more often. They are more likely to demonstrate poor education performance even if their socio-economic status is accounted for.
The number of schools with low performers is higher in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members. Their educational resources and strategies are not up to standard. And the shortage of teachers is also quite high. Economies and countries where educational resources are well distributed, the amount of poor performance is less. They have a greater share of top-performing students. And can stand equal to efficient school systems around the globe.
The degree to which disadvantaged and advantaged students attend the same institutes, is directly related to a smaller number of low performers. Especially when compared to a that has a bigger proportion of excellently performing students. This reveals that systems that distribute educational resources equitably can benefit from it. They can improve the situation of poor performers without any negative effects on better students.
The extent of the situation of low performers varies from one country to another. Hence, tackling this issue requires a multi-pronged solution. It should also be tailored according to each unique circumstance related to the students. There should be several dimensions shown in the approach dedicated to reducing low-performance problems. We have provided them below to clearly determine the factors involved in the solution.
These issues in the educational system of various countries are very alarming. It is essential to work on solutions without delay, in order to prevent further economic downfall. The educated population of any nation is the core source behind its success. It can be devastating news for the future if so many countries around the world have poor-performing students. As adults, they will create a huge gap in the productivity level of nations. A massive economic downfall is inevitable if no action taken to solve this issue. For nations, it is a reality that they must face and work to prevent.
The preventive measures are also quite feasible if taken in practice within time. Careful policymaking for the betterment of education can sort out several relevant issues. Schools equipped with the appropriate teaching aids and resources should be able to cope with learning problems. While teachers have the most crucial role to play as well. As we studied, learning issues mainly stem from socio-economic factors. Once these are balanced out, a possibility for a brighter future of all students would come into focus. However, it is important to work towards it is a combined unit.