The United Kingdom education ranking published on 3 December 2013, raise some fascinating results and key findings - but how do we prevent the UK's position from slipping and be successful at the next Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa)?
UK has one of the best school systems and spends more on education than the average Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries with an impressive infrastructure, equipped with the best learning facilities.
And, despite considerable work to reform the education system, such as, changing the curriculum and introducing computer science into schools, and providing financial support to the poorest pupils.
Yet, there have been no changes in Britain's position and with the overall ranking for science in the UK slipping behind, some sectors are still debating whether to start children early or delay formal learning.
A growing number of research suggest that developing science interest starts much earlier than formal education. Therefore, we should continue to nurture a child's ability to become tomorrow's engineers & scientists, with no delay, otherwise, they may find it difficult later.
And, if our next generation of 15-year-olds, are to compete globally with other countries, then we should introduce and encourage formal learning (and not necessarily at conventional schools) to 3-4-year-olds. Or else, they may miss out on 'school readiness' and global competition. Therefore, parental choice shouldn't be limited, as long as educators follow the correct national schools curriculum.
Consequently, it's time the UK stops the blame game, and get down to the root cause of failing to make the top 20 for maths, reading or science. Hence, urging as many children to get involved with play-based activities within mathematics, reading and science, as it's central to their early childhood learning.
What's the aim of Pisa?
PISA 2012, aims to deal with the most detailed analysis, revealing accurate education standard on the international assessment of student knowledge and skills and it covers reading, mathematics and science. However, its major focus recently, is mathematical literacy - where 15-year-olds respond to a questionnaire, with other countries involved.
So why is the UK falling behind in Science?
It is most likely, due to the fact that the UK school system is still reforming. Perhaps the sector requires a period of time to adjust to the education reform?
According to OECD key findings, we've also seen gaps in some skills, girls underperform in mathematics & science compared with boys.
We're also seeing a lot more countries, such as China, Shanghai, Estonia and Poland, preparing their children at a very early age, and more quickly. Even the poorest people in these countries want to invest in their children's education and they see it as a priority, rather than having to wait, when the child is of school age.
Apparently, the UK don't often learn well by example, particularly culture, for example - in some countries in Europe (Poland & Estonia), just as Africa and Asia. There's a general view, that, parents in these countries have a belief in placing, education first - whether their education system works or not, they are willing to go elsewhere for the best. These parents are ready to invest (with or without money) in a child as early - we rarely see it happening in the UK, instead we rely too much on the education system.
Everyone should've a role to play in a child's educational achievement and not just Teachers; otherwise, we would be failing our brightest students and putting a child's education at risk. In the UK parents must play a leading role, they should be seen, being actively involved in a child's education, from start to finish - and now, with the disappointing performance in the Pisa results, UK should be aiming for transformation.
The UK produces fantastic yearly GCSE results and I don't believe, the Pisa study reflects our students' ability. It's the system that needs to change (and connect with ordinary enterprise communities, who could give a diverse view), and exactly how, we could improve and prepare our next generation of 15-year-olds educational achievements.