TIMSS: Mathematics

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 8th December 2020.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 3:30 pm, 8th December 2020

The TIMSS findings showed that we are considerably ahead of our international comparators. There are issues — I know this from the previous Question Time — with ensuring that there is broadband availability, and there is always more that can be done. What it showed was that 96% of students here had access to a computer or tablet, which is well ahead of our comparators, although that does not necessarily mean that those students have individual access at home. To cover the situation, particularly during lockdown, more than 10,000 devices have so far been provided to our most disadvantaged and vulnerable learners. However, there is further work to be done.

Looking at the independent report and the comparisons with other jurisdictions, we see that we are well ahead of the international average. I should indicate that many very affluent economies throughout the world took part in TIMSS, so Northern Ireland was not being compared with countries that always have difficulties in that regard.