Slovenia makes headway in TIMSS study

Ljubljana, 29 November - Slovenian students performed well in the latest TIMSS study of mathematics and science proficiency, improving performance compared to four years ago across all segments, show results released on Tuesday.

Students in a classroom.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The average mathematical achievements of four-graders and eighth-graders improved compared to the 2011 study, who respectively placed 25th and 12th.

But in science Slovenian students scored even higher. Fourth-graders placed 11th, while eighth-graders were fifth, right on the heels of the traditionally top-performing East Asian countries.

At secondary-school level, where a similar study was conducted called TIMSS Advanced and involved students who have taken advanced courses in STEM subjects, the results were even better.

Slovenian students were the top performers in the world when it comes to mathematics and science, according to results released by the Education Research Institute.

In Slovenia this segment of the study included only participants from gimnazije, general secondary school for top students that are considered springboards for university.

"The main takeout from the study is that our gimnazija students achieved the best results among all countries," Barbara Japelj, the national TIMSS coordinator, told the press.

But she also pointed out that achievements by Slovenian students improved across the board, including in primary school. "The results are very positive," according to Japelj.

Education Ministry State Secretary Andreja Barle Lakota said studies such as TIMSS were crucial in assuring the quality of the educational system.

"They help us frame educational policies. The results of this study shows this to be true," she said.

The results of a similar study called PISA, which measures reading and writing proficiency, will be released next week.

© STA, 2016