Factbox: East Asian countries lead the world in primary education - studies

BOSTON Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:12pm IST

Students listen to their teacher inside a classroom in a public high school in Paranaque city, metro Manila February 17, 2011. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco/Files

Students listen to their teacher inside a classroom in a public high school in Paranaque city, metro Manila February 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco/Files

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BOSTON (Reuters) - South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong lead the world in primary education, with their students posting the respective top performances in science, math and reading, according to two studies released on Tuesday.

Fourth-grade students in those countries performed well in all three subjects, with Russia, Finland and Taiwan also landing in the top 10 in all three categories according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, both of which were conducted by researchers at Boston College.

Researchers evaluated 63 countries' performance in science and math and 49 countries' performance in reading.

Rank Reading Math Science

1 Hong Kong Singapore South Korea

2 Russia South Korea Singapore

3 Finland Hong Kong Finland

4 Singapore Taiwan Japan

5 Northern Ireland Japan Russia

6 United States Northern Ireland Taiwan

7 Denmark Belgium * United States

8 Croatia Finland Czech Republic

9 Taiwan England Hong Kong

10 Ireland Russia Hungary

* Belgium ranking applies to Flemish-speaking schools

(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott)

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