It may be tuition schools that did it

By Goh Sui Noi, The Straits Times, 8 December 2000

TAIPEI—Taiwanese 14-year-olds have shown excellence in science and mathematics in an international study, despite putting in less time than most of their counterparts worldwide on the subjects—or is this so?

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement that rated Taiwanese students top in science and third in mathematics also showed that they spent less time than most revising these subjects outside school hours.

They put in only 0.6 of an hour for science and 0.7 hour for mathematics against the world average of 1.0 and 1.1 hours respectively.

However, an official from the National Science Council education development department explained that this could be because Taiwanese students when filling in a questionnaire on this had omitted to include time spent on the subjects in their schools' coaching classes as well as in cram schools.