16-year-old English pupils two years behind Chinese counterparts in maths

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 07:00 hrs

English students are two years behind their Chinese counterparts by the time they sit for their mathematics exam under the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), at the age of 16, according to a study.

Although the English pupils aged 10 are on the same level with the brightest students in Taiwan and Hong Kong, even the brightest students make much less progress than their counterparts in the two Asian countries between the ages of 11 and 16, according to findings from the Institute of Education in London, the Daily Mail reports.

Analysing children's performances in special mathematics tests, Dr John Jerrim and Dr Alvaro Choi said that one of the reasons may be that the curriculum in England does not give enough chance for the highest achieving children to stretch their abilities in secondary school.

Jerrim added that another possible explanation for problems in maths may be the widespread use of private tuition by East Asian families for their children, which raises their performances much higher than their English counterparts, who rarely use private tuition. (ANI)

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