The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an international mathematics and science evaluation that compares the achievement of 4th and 8th grade students in 63 other countries. The evaluation allows for the collection of extensive data on the quantity and quality of teaching all over the world.
The latest study revealed that UNRWA students in the West Bank scored better than the national average scoring 430 points in maths and 451 in science as compared to their national colleagues, with the national average achievement set at 404 in maths and 420 in science.
According to UNRWA’s education department, the achievements shown in the study are the result of hard work and coordination between students, their parents, school management and teachers.
“2011 was our first foray into TIMSS. We made it a goal and priority to achieve high scores, but high scores were not our only focus”, said school principal Ali Aseedeh. “Rather, the skills that are built in the process is what made TIMSS a central tool in our teaching strategy”.
While the hard work of students is at the heart of the high scores, UNRWA teachers have gone out of their way to help their students, the UN agency says. Maths teacher Ghassan Ismail organised private tutoring sessions in his home, after school and at weekends. School administrators created special maths and science periods every day, giving a focus and attention to the exam that would facilitate the high-scoring trend. The motivation and initiative of school staff provided the students with the support they needed to realise their potential.