Students do well in two of three Rs
- Students do well in two of three Rs
By Chee Chee Leung
June 1, 2005
Victorian students are among the nation's best in writing and
numeracy, but lag in their reading ability, a report suggests.
The 2002 National Report on Schooling in Australia, released
yesterday, shows the results of reading, writing and numeracy tests
for students in years 3, 5 and 7 measured against national benchmarks.
Victoria had the highest percentage of students reaching the minimum
standards in year 3 writing and year 5 numeracy.
It also had the second highest proportion of students reaching the
benchmarks for year 5 writing and year 7 writing and numeracy.
However, more than one in 10 Victorians in years 5 and 7 fell below
the national reading standard. Victoria recorded the third lowest
percentage of students reaching the reading benchmarks for the three
A spokesman for Victorian Education Minister Lynne Kosky said the
report - published by the Ministerial Council on Education,
Employment, Training and Youth Affairs - was a good result for
Victoria. But he said the Government was always looking at ways to
improve education, and there were programs to help students with their
Opposition education spokesman Victor Perton said the results showed
Victoria's literacy levels were in crisis. "If kids can't read, they
can't do anything else," he said.
The report suggested caution when considering differences between
states and territories, as factors such as school starting age and
grade structures could affect the results.
Nationally, about one in 10 year 5 students fall below the reading and
numeracy benchmarks, and one in 16 below the level for writing. In
year 7, about one in 10 did not achieve the reading and writing
benchmarks, and one in six did not reach the standard for numeracy.
The proportion of year 3 students meeting the writing benchmark rose
from 2001 to 2002, and the proportion in year 5 meeting the reading
benchmark rose from 1999 to 2002.
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson said he was concerned about
the standards of boys' literacy and of indigenous students overall.
For all three years, a higher proportion of female students reached
the reading and writing benchmarks. The proportion of indigenous
students meeting the benchmarks was significantly below that of
non-indigenous students. But the percentage of indigenous students
reaching the year 5 reading standard had risen significantly since 1999.
(source: The Age < www.theage.com.au >)