Pisa, TIMSS serve as benchmarks for country’s education system, says Fadhlina

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s participation in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) helps to evaluate the performance of the nation’s education system against other higher achieving nations, says Fadhlina Sidek (pic).


The Education Minister said this was in line with the nation currently being in the third wave of the Education Development Plan (2021-2025), with Pisa and TIMSS continuing to benchmark the national education system against international standards.

“It is also in line with Malaysia Madani aspirations,” she said in a written parliamentary reply to Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) on Wednesday (June 7).

Dr Wee had asked about Malaysia’s stance towards both Pisa and TIMSS as well as its participation in these programmes.

The Ayer Hitam MP also asked how benchmarks were made between Malaysian students and students from other countries according to international standards.

Pisa is administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) every three years on 15-year-olds in both OECD and non-OECD countries and offers students questions in the main language of instruction in their respective countries.

Each round focuses on either Reading, Mathematics or Science.

This international benchmark study helps measure how prepared 15-year-olds that underwent formal education are to fully integrate into modern society.


TIMSS is an international level study held every four years and focuses on Mathematics and Science assessments.

In response, Fadhlina said benchmarks under Pisa were derived based on the average score of OECD member countries that also participated.

For TIMSS, Fadhlina said the benchmark was based on the centre point scale determined by the International Association of Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IA), which was at 500 points.

“The benchmarks will help determine intervention measures and strategies to improve the quality of education in Malaysia, including academics, curriculum and assessments, and teachers’ professional development,” she said.

She added that Malaysia also participated in five editions of the Pisa and seven editions of the TIMSS.

Fadhlina said that Malaysia participated in Pisa in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2022, and TIMSS in 1999 followed by 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023.

– The Star

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