Australia’s Education Minister is calling on educators to do more following worrying Naplan results.
The 2017 NAPLAN National Report released on Wednesday shows student performance has continued to stagnate, with literacy and numeracy standards still not at the desired level.
More than 20,000 students in years three and five failed to meet the reading benchmark, while 32,000 students in years three, five, seven and nine were also below basic standards in numeracy.
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While there were some improvements among primary school students, the report revealed high school students are continuing to struggle, especially in civics and citizenship.
Civics and Citizenship measures students’ understanding and knowledge of Australia’s system of government, historical and current governance practices, the importance of diversity and multiculturalism and knowledge of Australian identity and culture.
“Just 55 per cent of students in Year 6 met the proficient standard, while the figure has dropped down to 38 per cent for Year 10 students – a decline of six per cent from the previous round of testing in 2013,” Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said.
“These results are woeful and should be of serious concern.
“They are a stark reminder of the need to ensure our schools are giving students the opportunity and support to learn and expand their knowledge base across the entire spectrum of the curriculum.”
Students achieving the National Minimum Standard has also slipped from 93 per cent in 2016 to 92.6 per cent this year.
Minister Birmingham said the results should serve as a warning signal to educators and policymakers that more needs to be done to boost student outcomes.
“We know how vital literacy skills are to setting students up for life beyond school, so the decline in writing scores and the flat lining of reading results should act as a wake-up call that some changes are required.
Mr Birmingham said parents can help improve their children’s performances by starting reading practices at home at an early age.
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of parents reading with their children from a young age and fostering their enthusiasm for reading,” he said.
“Children need those basic literacy skills in the early years because they’re the building blocks for future school success. Families and schools must work together to find ways to keep that engagement in reading beyond the first years of school well into high school.”
More than one million school students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sat the annual NAPLAN tests in May.
The full 2017 NAPLAN National report can be found on the National Assessment Program website.