[European Union] Europe: School Tests Show Huge Gaps between Migrants and Natives

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10 Dec 2019

The new Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows that immigrants in Austria still perform far below their native peers, while in Germany 20% of 15-year-olds can barely read.

According to Kronen Zeitung's report, the proportion of migrant students in Austria has increased from 11% in 2000 to 23% in 2019. In this period, migrant children have typically scored worse in testing than their Austrian counterparts.

Since the peak of the migrant crisis in 2015, there has been a consistent 63-point difference between migrants and natives in testing in Austria. Finland came out worst in the list of testing differences between migrants and natives with a 92-point difference. Sweden is the second worst with an 83-point difference. Finland scored the second-highest on the PISA test in Europe, with Estonia following.

Austria’s results are nearly identical with Germany, where around 20% of 15-year-olds cannot read at a primary school level. Moreover, after being asked about their reading habits, 25% of German students said they read as a hobby, while 34% said reading was a waste of time.

Integration of migrant children has been a major issue in Germany, which is made more difficult by the growing number of students who do not speak proficient German. According to an estimate done earlier this year in Duisburg, only 8.2% of migrant elementary school students speak fluent German.


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