Hong Kong students have ranked high in the Programme for International Student Assessment 2006, showing the city's education is heading in the right direction.
The study, conducted under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development, assessed the scientific, mathematical and mother-tongue reading literacy of 15-year-olds.
Fifty-seven jurisdictions participated in the study and over 4,600 Hong Kong students from 146 secondary schools were assessed from May to June last year.
Significant improvement was seen in Hong Kong students' reading literacy, with the ranking leaping from 10th in 2003 to third in 2006. The top two participants were South Korea and Finland.
Welcoming the results, Deputy Secretary for Education Bernadette Linn said the achievement was the result of concerted efforts of schools and teachers.
Linn said the efforts put in promoting reading as a tool for life-long learning are bearing fruit across primary and secondary levels.
She attributed the progress to an enhanced reading climate through school-based programmes, the strategic approach of emphasising "Learning to Read" among younger students and gradually moving towards "Reading to Learn" among older students in the curriculum reform, and implementation of the New Chinese Language Curriculum in 2002.
(CRI December 5, 2007)