The Star Online:
The 2012 survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that more than one in five Malaysian students could not even reach basic levels of problem solving.The survey by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012 used an interesting methodology to test student problem solving skills including asking them to figure out how to use an MP3 player’s screen, and use the controls on an air-conditioner. The students were then asked to find out how they worked and do it in the less number of clicks. What are the demographics of the students though? Let's say if you ask a kid in a rural area in Malaysia (who has never used a MP3 player or air-cond controller) to do this survey and compare his result to a kid in Singapore (who lives in a home with more than one aircond), can anyone guestimate the outcome? Was the research method flaw in the first place?
Malaysia came in at 39th with a mean score of 422 points among the 44 countries surveyed. In comparison, Singapore topped the list of countries with 562 points.[...]
The survey also found that very few Malaysian students were likely to achieve the top levels of problem solving proficiency.