Timss: Efforts to advance migrant education in Germany show no results

In Germany, the differences in performance in math and science between students with and without a migration background are particularly alarming. In the natural sciences children with foreign roots are 60 points behind.

The difference corresponds roughly to a learning gap of two years. Immigrant children lagged about a year behind with their arithmetic skills, according to the international Timss study (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study).

“The results presented do not allow us to draw a positive conclusion for 2019 either,” warned study director Knut Schwippert. The results of the study showed that the various efforts in Germany to reduce the differences in performance between German and foreign children have not had any success.

German students have thus performed below average in math and science compared to other EU countries. In the past year, a quarter of fourth graders had only rudimentary or low numeracy skills.

According to this, only six percent of German students who attended fourth grade had the highest proficiency level. The EU average was 9,4 percent. In East Asia the value was significantly higher. Singapore took first place with 54 percent. This was followed by South Korea and Russia. The average for the OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) was 11,5 percent.

The mathematical competence of German students remained unchanged. In the natural sciences, however, there was a slight deterioration. Around 27,6 percent lacked the basic principles for learning. In addition, only 6,9 percent achieved the top level of competence.


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