SINGAPORE: Over the past decade, from 2001 to 2011, girls have out—smarted boys in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said this in a written parliamentary reply to Nominated Member of Parliament Assistant Professor Eugene Tan’s query.
Prof Tan had asked about the relative performance of Primary 6 boys and girls.
Mr Heng said dividing all PSLE students into performance band quintiles, girls are two percentage points over—represented in the top quintile.
He added that girls are three to four percentage points under—represented in the bottom quintile at PSLE and this "has been broadly consistent over the last 10 years".
Mr Heng said such differences occur across education systems worldwide and that girls out—perform boys academically on average, not just at age 12, but also at older ages.
For instance, in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reading assessment of 15—year—olds, girls outperformed boys on average, in all participating countries.
"In fact, the difference in PISA 2009 performance between girls and boys in Singapore is smaller than most other countries," said Mr Heng.
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