Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Japan Tops OECD Survey Of Adult Literacy, Math Skills
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan ranked first among 24 countries and regions for literacy and math skills in an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development survey targeting people aged 16-65.
The results of the first Survey of Adult Skills, which measured abilities needed in society, were announced Tuesday. Japan's performance is seen as the result of a consistently high participation rate in compulsory education and interest by businesses in human resources development, both tied to efforts made during the postwar boom.
In the other area measured, problem-solving using information technology, Japan scored around the OECD average at 10th place. It had one of the lowest rates of computer usage, suggesting a pressing need to create an IT-friendly environment in school and beyond.
The literacy test covered understanding and use of necessary information in written material. Japan boasted an average score of 296 points, beating the OECD average by 23 points. In the math test, which looked at the ability to use mathematical information in such contexts as work, Japan's average of 288 points surpassed the OECD average by 19 points.
Finland came in second on all three tests, and Sweden ranked first in IT problem-solving. Northern European nations were near the top of the list in each area.
About 157,000 people participated in the largely computer-administered survey, held between 2011 and 2012. Japan had 5,173 respondents.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 9 morning edition)