IEA & UNESCO | TIMSS 2019 Joint Report (EN)

10 Measuring global education goals: How TIMSS helps

Target 4.5: Equity

International Benchmark in 52 out of 58 countries and territories.

The Education 2030 Agenda calls on ‘leaving no one behind’and requires access to disaggregated data. TIMSS allows for greater disaggregation of data on learning outcomes by sex, socio-economic status and language, as well as by age and other variables obtained from the different background questionnaires. GENDER TIMSS 2019 findings suggest gender equity is eroding in mathematics at fourth grade: boys had higher average achievement in 27 of the 58 countries participating at fourth grade, and a gap favouring boys appeared in 9 countries since 2015 11 . While this finding refers to the average score, a different picture emerges when the performance of boys and girls is compared in terms of the percentage of students who achieve minimum proficiency. Analysis of results of fourth-grade students shows there was no significant difference in the percentage of girls and boys reaching the Low

The analysis of eighth-grade students’ performance in mathematics shows similar results. Overall, the average percentage of students performing at or above the Low International Benchmark is 81% for girls and 78% boys. In no country do significantly more boys than girls reach the low benchmark. In 13 countries, significantly more girls than boys reach the Low International Benchmark. For instance, inOman,128girlsreachtheminimumbenchmark for every 100 boys (Figure 4.5.1) . In the other countries and territories, there is no significant difference between girls and boys. By contrast, in 8 of 31 countries, significantly moreboys reachedtheAdvancedInternational Benchmark in mathematics in Grade 8, compared to only one country (Bahrain) where significantly more girls reached that benchmark. For some countries therewas insufficient data to estimate the percentages at the advanced level.

FIGURE 4.5.1: Adjusted gender parity index in mathematics, eighth-grade students, 2019


In these countries, more girls achieve minimum prociency in mathematics than boys






TIMSS 2019 participating entities reflected in the figure above have been selected by and named according to UNESCO.

Notes: The gender parity index is a measure of inequality defined as the ratio of the values of an education indicator for females relative to males. An index value between 0.97 and 1.03 indicates parity. A value below 0.97 indicates disparity whereby boys are doing better than girls. A value above 1.03 indicates disparity whereby girls are doing better than boys. The adjusted gender parity index is symmetrical around 1 and limited to a range between 0 and 2. * Norway and South Africa administered the assessment to ninth-grade students.

11 For the full results, see the TIMSS 2019 International Results in Mathematics and Science: international-results/

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