Education Killer


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or OECD one of the main abbreviations we have been encountered from the very beginning of our MA programme in Multilingual Education. “Educational Context and Reform in Kazakhstan” is one of those courses we were introduced to recommendations for further developments in education prescribed by OECD. Additionally, while writing one of my assignments on PISA, I “met” OECD again. The deed is that OECD sponsors the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA). The latter was also one of the issues we talked about with our professors. Interestingly, we almost never discussed the “dark” sides of OECD or PISA until yesterday I found the letter written to Dr. Schleicher, the director of PISA.

83 academics from all around the world expressed deep concern of PISA test and came up with some suggestions for the next round of assessment. In their words, countries after the results had been announced started to overhaul their education systems in order to elevate the rankings. Based on quantitative data, countries are racing for the best rankings. Finland’s sudden decline from the top describes that standardised testing system is imperfect but it still is labeling students, teachers, and administrators as well. Given recommendations assisst countries to climb the rankings and those required changes need time more than three years (PISA cycle)! Additionally, PISA narrows the area of measurable education features such as moral, physical, and artistic development. “Why PISA provides less autonomy for teachers and harms children around the globe?” – this question is seen between the lines in the letter. It does not even consider socio-economic inequality taking place among the countries. Moreover, member countries pay taxes – millions of dollars. We do not exactly know how many millions…

What can I say about all the mentioned concerns of professors? These educated people are practicing teaching and research on education. They know more than those from economic development organisation. Nobody would not pay attention if the academics’ number was about 5 or 10. But 83! It means something. How PISA measures students’ ability to apply their knowledge to solve real-life problems with a pen and paper? I do not know, do you?

3 thoughts on “Education Killer

  1. Dear Author,

    it is probably that case where one can say that every coin has two sides.
    On the one hand, countries compete to be in the higher rankings to display that their education system is one of the best, and their children are educated.
    On the other hand, those who are in a lower than average position get discouraged; “copy and paste” education system and reforms of those countries who are better in PISA. As a consequence, fail due to a variety of factors.

    I guess, there isn’t any single answer to your question but convoluted answers depending on the aims of this organization.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bota, thank you for an interesting post. I agree with you and those 83 professors, who claimed that PISA do not give the necessary skills to solve real-life problems. There are too many reforms in our education system. It can be a huge assumption, but in my point of view PISA (TIMMS) just checks the knowledge of students not the ability to solve different real issues. Government should put an end to market-driven education reforms, and pay more attention on children’s needs. Many different educational organisations aim to check, to assess the knowledge, the ability of fixed terms and skills, but not to strenghten education as a whole. I am afraid, if we do not stop implementing all foreign practices along with other educational reforms, we get the generation of idiots, who know what the problem is, but do not know how to solve it.


  3. Great post. I think your classmates will be very interested to read the letter and your discussion of it. I would suggest that you add at least one more research source to either strengthen your side of the argument, or to more comprehensively look at other sides.
    A few grammar mistakes are distracting:
    Given recommendations assisst countries (Russian translation (given here would be better as “Their recommendations”) and spelling (assist))
    “Why PISA provides less autonomy for teachers and harms children around the globe?”
    How PISA measures students’ ability to apply their knowledge to solve real-life problems with a pen and paper? (Why and How questions need auxiliary verbs!)


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