PISA and pizza: A correlational study?
Posted April 14, 2014on:
I found this photo on Twitter taken by @garystager.
I do not have to guess that he took the photo here in Singapore because the Twitter geo tag tells me it was taken in the eastern part of our main island.
Signs like these are very common at fast food joints and upmarket coffee shops because students frequent these spots and deny customers seating by spending long hours there.
Locals do not bat any eyelid because such signs are the norm. It takes outsiders to find them unusual or funny. When they do this, they hold up a mirror with which we should examine ourselves.
Why is it not just socially acceptable but even expected that kids study in places meant for relaxation, entertainment, or a quick meal? You might even spot mothers or tuition teachers drilling and grilling their charges at fast food restaurants.
This is almost unique to Singapore. I suspect it happens (or will happen) elsewhere. Where? Any place that has high PISA scores.
So here is a tongue-in-cheek proposition for OECD. Why not investigate the relationship between studying at places like Pizza Hut and performance in PISA tests?
Policymakers worldwide might not be aware or care for the effect that the tuition industry might have on Singapore’s PISA test scores. But McDonald’s is everywhere. It might be an untapped solution to cure test score ills.