National / Social Issues

Japan to skip OECD’s new global competence test for 15-year-olds


Japan has no plans to participate in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s new test to assess the global competence of 15-year-olds around the world, Jiji Press has learned.

The decision reflects concerns that, in the new test, students with a variety of cultural backgrounds and values may be ranked on a single scale, education ministry officials said Friday.

The new test could include questions for which the correct answers depend on cultural backgrounds and values, the officials said. The government concluded that Japan should not participate unless more efforts are made to address these concerns.

The test will be carried out this year as part of the OECD’s triennial Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The OECD says the new test is designed to measure the ability to coexist with others and live a constructive life as a member of a globalizing society.

Japan plans to continue to participate in the assessments for reading, mathematics and science, the three key components of PISA, the officials said.