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Barbara Ischinger

Warning about boys performance

2013-03-08
Barbara Ischinger, Director for Education and Skills for the OECD on 1 January 2006 warns about boys performance in her visit to New Zealand on the "Women´s Day"

Barbara Ischinger

Warning about boys performance

Barbara Ischinger

On this International Women’s Day I’d like to be just a bit provocative and suggest that we start paying a little more attention to boys. Boys are getting lost in today’s life and we don’t really understand why. A recent study finds that boys’ behaviour costs them dearly in school marks (our next PISA in Focus, due out on 14 March, has a few other interesting things to say about how teachers award marks to girls and boys); and a school in Shanghai, China – which was the best-performing school system in the 2009 PISA survey  – has just introduced boys-only classes  in an effort to turn around the decline in boys’ performance in university entrance exams. (I was interested to read that some of the boys interviewed said that they felt shy answering teachers’ questions in front of girls. Didn’t many girls used to say that the presence of boys made them reluctant to participate in class?) 

We have done a lot for girls, and we see the positive results of this in everyday life. Girls are, on average, doing better in school than boys, and more women now graduate from university-level education than men. Of course, there is still a lot of room for improvement: just look at the salaries of women versus those of men. And I am irritated when I attend board meetings in the private sector and note that women are still a minority.

So we must not look at the great strides girls and women have made in recent decades and think that the battle is won. But I would also add: We don’t gain much if we gain on one side and lose on the other.

Am I focusing too much on boys on what is supposed to be the day we celebrate the girls and women of the world? I don’t think so. It’s all about empowerment: having equal opportunities to realise our individual potential. And that is something that should not be gender-specific"


Reference: OECD - http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.fr/2013/03/a-womens-day-challenge.html  
Barbara Ischinger, Director for Education and Skills for the OECD on 1 January 2006 warns about boys performance in her visit to New Zealand on the "Women´s Day"

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