Half of Bulgarian Teenagers Bad at Analyzing Text

Education | December 7, 2010, Tuesday // 15:17|  views

Abouot 1/4 of Bulgarian teenagers think that reading books is a waste of time. Photo by BGNES

Almost half of the 15-year-olds in Bulgaria fail in their reading comprehension and cannot read to learn and absorb knowledge.

The alarming findings were revealed after a research conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Every three years PISA assesses how far students near the end of compulsory education have reached in acquiring some of the knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society.

Every survey focuses on different fields – reading (2000), mathematics (2003) and science (2006). This year, the focus of the survey was again on reading.

Bulgaria ranks 46th out of 65 countries in this year's research. In comparison, at the previous surveys, the country ranked 33rd out of 41 countries in 2000 and 43rd out of 57 countries in 2006.

This year, the results showed that Bulgarian students have basic literacy – they can read and write. But almost half of them have troubles interpreting and analyzing text and they cannot make sense and assess information given to them.

The research in Bulgaria included 4,500 students, mostly in ninth grade, from 179 schools. Only 2,8% of them showed good results.

In general, the situation in Bulgaria has improved since the previous survey in 2006 because the children who are below the critical minimum are 10% less.

"This should not make us feel better because Bulgaria deserves better results," said Milena Damyanova, Deputy Education Minister.

The data also revealed a huge difference in the development between boys and girls – two years, in favor of the girls. The only country with a worse result is Albania.

According to PISA, the results for the Bulgarian students are strongly influenced by the social-economic environment. However, mothers have a stronger influence on their children's development.

The data revealed that 15-year-olds in Bulgaria read mostly magazines and 21% of them think that reading books is a waste of time.

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Tags: PISA, students, Bulgarian, survey


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