|US ranks bottom in numeracy skills, Britain among worst three in youth literacy skills, study finds
The United States is at the bottom of the heap in numeracy skills of youths among all countries of the 22-nation OECD grouping, while Britain is among the bottom three in literacy skills among 16-24 year-olds, a survey has found.
In a survey on adult skills, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development evaluated skills in 22 OECD member states as well as Russia and Cyprus. The study involved tests on 166,000 people aged between 16 and 65 years.
In literacy skills of 55-65 year-olds, Britain ranks among the three highest-performing countries.
In numeracy, the US is about average when comparing the proficiency of 55-65 year-olds.
The OECD defined literacy “as the ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential.
Literacy encompasses a range of skills from the decoding of written words and sentences to the comprehension, interpretation, and evaluation of complex texts.’’
It defined numeracy “as the ability to access, use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas in order to engage in and manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life. Numeracy involves managing a situation or solving a problem in a real context, by responding to mathematical content and concepts represented in multiple ways.’’
Japanese adults topped the ranks in numeracy and literacy skills.
The report said Japanese aged between 25 and 34 who had only finished secondary education were better in writing skills than university graduates in the same age bracket in Spain and in Italy. The results were similar for numeracy.