A NEW study has shown Irish students to be the best performers in reading literacy ahead of their peers in nations across the EU and the OECD.
In the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, administered by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Irish 15-year-olds outperformed students of the same age from the 81 nations across the EU and OECD which took part.
In reading, the performance of the Irish teenagers puts them ahead of every other OECD country, and second only to Singapore among the nations and regions that took part.
Although usually administered every three years the most recent PISA tests took place in 2022 - following a delay of one year due to the pandemic, the results of which have shown Irish students significantly above average in mathematics, reading and science.
In maths and science Irish students placed 12th and 11th respectively.
The previous tests took place in 2018, where Irish students placed 21st and 22nd in maths and science.
Responding to the results, Education Minister Norma Foley said: “The results are extremely positive news for Ireland.
“We have retained our place among a small set of high achieving countries at a time where particular strain was put on school communities globally due to COVID-19.
“We have also ensured that the number of low achieving students remains amongst the lowest in the 81 countries tested.”
She added: “PISA 2022 was delayed by one year due to the impact of Covid-19 on our education system.
“The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, but the resilience shown by schools during this time is to be commended.
“I want to particularly pay tribute to the dedication of teachers and school leaders to provide a stable and supportive learning environment for all our students.
“Well done of course to the students themselves who have demonstrated remarkable focus and determination to deliver such impressive results."
Some 5,569 students in 170 schools in Ireland participated in PISA 2022. The tests that were held in October and November last year.
In total 600,000 15 year olds took the PISA tests in 81 nations.