MEXICO CITY – The majority of 15-year-old students say they are happy, but about 20 percent of them suffer from harassment, an “alarming” problem, according to the so-called PISA report prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
OECD chief, Mexico’s Gabriela Ramos, presented the results of the first evaluation on student well-being as reflected in the International Student Evaluation Program (PISA) carried out among 15-year-old students who also took standardized tests in science, mathematics and reading in 2015.
In a video-conference from Paris, Ramos said that on average in the 34 OECD countries, students rated their overall happiness in life at 7.3 on a 10-point scale.
According to the survey, which included 72 countries and economies, students in the Dominican Republic rated their happiness level at 8.5, Mexico at 8.3 and Costa Rica at 8.2, these countries being the ones in which students said they were the happiest, while those who rated their happiness level the lowest were Turkey (6.1), South Korea (6.4) and Hong Kong (6.5).
In general, boys said they were happier with their lives than girls. On average, in the entire OECD, 29 percent of both male and female students said they were “happy,” while 39 percent of boys alone said the same.
The report says that 18.7 percent of 15-year-old OECD students suffer from harassment at school – whether it be in the form of jokes, threats or physical aggression – at least “several times per month.”
Hong Kong (32.3 percent) and Latvia (30.6 percent) lead the list of countries whose students reported the highest levels of harassment.
“There is an alarming percentage of students who report being victims,” thus making is necessary to develop “comprehensive” programs to prevent school harassment, or bullying, Ramos said.
Regarding the relationship of teachers with students, one in every five students said they had been treated unfairly by their teachers. That is, they were treated harshly, were offended or ridiculed in front of their fellow students by teachers.
The OECD official also said that a correlation exists between students who want to be the best in their class with those who suffer the highest degree of anxiety.
In addition, on average, 44 percent of the students surveyed said they expect to graduate from college, although in Colombia, South Korea, Qatar and the United States more than 75 percent of the students have that expectation.
The PISA 2015 evaluation was completed by 540,000 students, representing some 29 million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies.