While average literacy rate in the region is now 92 per cent, India is still lagging far behind. Governments in the region recognise the merits of investing in basic education by imposing a minimum duration of compulsory education and raising spending allocations.
Assessing the quality of basic education of economies which participated in the PISA survey, we find the East Asian ‘tiger’ economies have generally outperformed their OECD counterparts.
The high ranking of Vietnam in science and mathematics points to the success of its government’s focus on basic education.
Assessing the quality of education in the region, we look at the relative performance of the countries which participated in the OECD-sponsored survey of 15-year old students known as the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA). PISA focussed on core school subjects of science, mathematics and reading.
Data shows 15-year olds in the East Asian Tiger economies have been regularly outperforming their OECD counterparts, with Singapore consistently topping the PISA survey for a number of years.
Yet it is the relatively high rank of Vietnam in science and Mathematics which is remarkable, considering its level of development.
In 2015, Vietnam ranked eighth in science, higher than Hong Kong, China, South Korea, the UK, and Germany. Clearly, the Vietnamese government’s focus on basic education has contributed to these impressive results.
PISA Mean Scores