Level of Central American Students

Panama is the only Central American country participating in the International Student Assessment (PISA).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is to measure if students near the end of mandatory education have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to fully participate in society. PISA highlights those countries which have achieved good performance and at the same time, an equitable distribution of learning opportunities, helping in setting ambitious goals for other countries.

We know our educational systems have problems, but we do not know how serious these problems are because we have no system evaluating the results, and when we have them, these are intra-national systems that won’t tell us anything about how much students have learned in relation to other countries.

By participating in PISA, Panama knows now where its formation of human capital is compared to other countries. The 2009 assessment results are not good, putting Panama not only well below the global average, but below the majority of Latin Americans who participate in PISA.

But at least Panama does not cheat itself.

More on this topic

Panama and PISA Tests

April 2016

The quality that the school system has today will determine the quality and development that the economy can achieve tomorrow.

Panama's decision to re-join the group of countries which every three years submit their education systems to the PISA test run by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will determine any lags that may exist in the model of education in respect to developed countries, and lay the foundation for analyzing the changes that need to be made to increase the capacity of analysis and understanding of students today, for better socio-economic development in the future.

Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Education

January 2014

PISA tests show that the wealthiest students in Costa Rica know less math than the poorer students from various countries.


Globalization advances inexorably and the Foreign Trade Agreements signed between nations are strengthening its effects. In this environment, the amount of competitiveness that economies manage to achieve is key to determining who will be more or less poor, or more or less rich.

Education in Campaing Speeches: Missing in Action

January 2014

More jobs and less poverty is the refrain of Central American politicians, while they say little or nothing about education, without which there are no jobs nor wealth generation.  


Even in Costa Rica, where its educational system during the past century allowed the country to reach higher development levels than its neighbors, education is not a priority issue in the election campaign which is in full swing, despite the fact that the Costa Rican public education system is visibly losing more and more students as parents are increasingly opting for private schools and colleges in order to try to secure a decent future for their children.

To Imitate: Education in Finland

April 2010

“In 2006, Finnish students scored the highest average in science and reading among developed countries”.

Finland must be visited by anyone in the education industry, to understand why this country is so successful in all educational levels.

In the past years, Finnish students have systematically placed their country in the first levels of the Science and Reading rankings tests, conducted globally by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Finland also tops the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

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