Allow us to clarify ‘by far’: the top five schools in the world are in Asia.
This conclusion comes from the biggest ever global school ranking, based on math-and-science-education, administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Singapore leads the pack, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan and Taiwan tied in fourth place. Finland is the highest-ranked non-Asian country in sixth. Canada scored a very respectable 10th while our neighbours to the South finished a disappointing 28th place.
The results were derived from test scores of 15-year-olds in 76 participating countries.
“The idea is to give more countries, rich and poor, access to comparing themselves against the world’s education leaders, to discover their relative strengths and weaknesses, and to see what the long-term economic gains from improved quality in schooling could be for them,” said OECD Education Director Andreas Schleicher.
That relationship between quality education and long-term economic gains is undeniable. According to the report, “Poor education policies and practices leave many countries in what amounts to a permanent state of economic recession.”
Ghana, for example – the lowest ranked country – would increase its current GDP potential by 38 times if all of the country’s 15-year-olds achieved basic education skills during their lifetime.
Benjamin Franklin was right: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
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