Norway Education Ministry has little time for international polls / News / The Foreigner

Norway Education Ministry has little time for international polls. Government officials parade that the Scandinavian country invests heavily in pre-schools, but slight tertiary education rankings; all in the same week. The latest OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Education at a Glance report shows that Norway ranks high amongst OECD countries for investing in day care. In fact, the land of oil and money pays out 2 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

education, schools, universities, paywall



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Norway Education Ministry has little time for international polls

Published on Wednesday, 21st September, 2016 at 23:18 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 22nd September 2016 at 11:18.

Government officials parade that the Scandinavian country invests heavily in pre-schools, but slight tertiary education rankings; all in the same week.

Rows of pencils
Rows of pencils
Photo: Iv Nikolny/Shutterstock Images


The latest OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Education at a Glance report shows that Norway ranks high amongst OECD countries for investing in day care.

In fact, the land of oil and money pays out 2 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

“We focus on quality in preschools because we know that early efforts are important,” said Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen in last week’s statement in connection with the release of the OECD report.

The investment in preschools pays off by giving improved school results, according to the Ministry of Education and Research.

Preschools in Norway have a higher staffing rate than the OECD average, with an average of five children per day care kindergarten employee and 11 children per teacher – as opposed to 11 and 14, respectively.

Officials also stated that children who have attended day care for at least one year have better results in school when compared to children who did not, analysis of the last PISA survey reported.

A good start, a worse continuation

Empty school classroom (illus. photo)
Empty school classroom (illus. photo)
Onderwijsgek/Wikimedia Commons
That triennial poll also showed that Norwegian compulsory school pupils’ performance in mathematics and the sciences was lagging behind. The next PISA survey is due to be released in December this year.

Regarding Education at a Glance 2016, Minister Isaksen also commented that this is irrespective of the child’s home situation.

 “We must ensure that all children have equal opportunities to learn and develop, regardless of where they come from and how much education their parents have. We can contribute to this through [having] good preschools,” he said.

Norway rated high for preschools, but did not fare well regarding Secondary Education.

The number of people aged 25-34 who had not completed this has risen since 2005, with 19 per cent of this age group not having Upper Secondary School education in 2015. This was higher than the OECD average (17 per cent). 

In 2013, the number of students expected to complete this level of education was 83 per cent, rising to 84 per cent the following year. It was 90 per cent in 2005.

“Substantial methodological problems”

Calling the situation “serious”, Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen stated that “this must be seen in connection with early efforts in preschools and schools.”

State Secretary Bjørn Haugstad
State Secretary Bjørn Haugstad
Marte Garmann/Ministry of Education
“Currently, far too many Norwegian Lower Secondary School pupils leave without being able to read, write and calculate adequately,” he declared.

Norway’s universities have been the subject of international scrutiny as well. Last week, QS published their World University Rankings 2016/17. Oslo had regained its former 2012 ranking bracket, now at 112th.

This is following an up the hill and over the dale trip of 100th in 2010, 108th in 2011, (111th in 2012, 89th in 2013, 101st in 2014, and 135th in 2015).

Ministry of Education and Research State Secretary Bjørn Haugstad did not seem unduly perturbed by the University of Oslo’s variable rankings, expressing disfavour regarding assessment methods in an email to The Foreigner.

“The Ministry of Education and Research does not use much time and resources on assessing QS, or any other university ranking. In general the university rankings are suffering from substantial methodological problems,” he wrote.

“In Norway we have implemented several measures aimed at strengthening the quality of education and research in our universities and university colleges, and to improve their international recognition. A consequence of these measures will surely be improvement in the various rankings, but that is not the purpose of these measures,” concluded State Secretary Haugstad.




Published on Wednesday, 21st September, 2016 at 23:18 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 22nd September 2016 at 11:18.

This post has the following tags: education, schools, universities, paywall.





  
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