Tuesday 10 December 2019

Dutch teenagers are still happy, but school standards are declining

Dutch teenagers remain among the happiest in the world with 79% of youngsters saying they are satisfied with their lives, according to a new survey of 15-year-olds around the globe.

Top of the new OECD ranking were teenagers from Mexico, where 83% said they are satisfied with their lives. Finnish teens were in third place with a 78% rating. The OECD average was 67%.

However, the mammoth PISA research project also showed that Dutch school standards are declining in key areas. The research showed a quarter of 15-year-olds in the Netherlands do not read well enough to fully participate in society, almost in line with the OECD average.

Dutch pupils scored an average of 485 out of 550 in the most recent Pisa reading and comprehension tests, well down on the 503 score recorded in 2015.

Dutch scores were also down in science, but rose slightly in maths although the overall trend is downward.

Dutch teaching union AOb said the results are extremely worrying. ‘It is a scandal that a rich country like the Netherlands is not capable of keeping educational standards up,’ the union said in a statement.

China dominated the results in almost every category.

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