German University Study Reveals Boys Better At Maths; India Poses A Paradox

A meta-analysis conducted by the School of Education, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany has found that girls overall performance overshadows that of boys, however boys seemed to perform better than girls in mathematics and science.

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German University Study Reveals Boys Better At Maths; India Poses A Paradox

German University Study Reveals Boys Better AT Maths; India A Paradox

New Delhi:  A meta-analysis conducted by the School of Education, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany has found that girls overall performance overshadows that of boys, however boys seemed to perform better than girls in mathematics and science. The meta-analysis "Gender Differences in Scholastic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis" by Voyer and Voyer (2014) systematically summarizes the findings of 369 primary studies published between 1914 and 2012 in scientific journals and dissertations. The authors of the study at TUM examine the school performance of more than one million people who attended a primary school, a secondary school or a university at the time of the surveys summarized.

The meta-analysis is based on the performance of pupils in standardized tests. There is a remarkable difference in grades when it comes to subjects like language and humanities but for MINT subjects there is a smaller difference with boys even performing better than girls. However, the analysis also found that girls consistently perform better than boys in school. 
 

"Boy Crisis" In Classrooms Not A New Phenomenon


The study also addresses the phenomenon "boy crisis" which is the assumption that boys fall behind the achievements of girls. It says that this is not a new phenomenon or an acute 'boy crisis'. The authors of this study show that this kind of difference in scale has remained stable for hundred years and can be seen in countries outside of North America too. The study, however, could not pin point the reason why girls were outperforming boys. 
 

Girls In India Outperform Boys


The study is significantly important in Indian context. In 2017, girls overall performance in CBSE class 12 board exam, a national education board for secondary and senior secondary education, was better than boys with 88.60 pass percentage for girls as opposed to 81.10 pass percentage for boys. The All India topper in the same examination was a girl who scored 99.6% in Humanities. 

While the pass percentage of girls remains better, the number of girls qualifying JEE Main exam, one of the most prestigious engineering entrance exams conducted in the country, was way lower than that of boys. 79.2% boys cleared the exam as against 20.8% girls who qualified the exam in 2017. 

These statistics support the hypothesis that girls are better in overall performance, boys still hold the castle when it comes to mathematics and science subjects. 
 

Indian Paradox: A Statistical Evidence


The dominion of boys in science and technical streams can also be seen in the difference in enrollment percentage of the two genders. The percentage of female enrollment in Bachelor of Arts courses in the period 2014-15 was 32.96 and male enrollment in the same period was 24.60. The difference is 8.36%. The male enrollment percentage in B.Tech. during the same period is 8.68 and female enrollment percentage is 3.78 which is  a difference of  4.9%. However, there is a tiny paradox in the enrollment percentage to Bachelor of Science program where Women lead with 12.22% as opposed to Men with 11.22%. 

Read Here: Good Grades Do Not Guarantee Success

The subject-wise Mean Achievement score of students at national level also, presents a different picture. Girls and Boys have same Mean Achievement Score in Mathematics, Science, Social Science and girls have more mean Achievement Score in English than Boys. 

The data furnished above proves that girls indeed perform better than boys within the Indian educational system but the hypothesis that boys are better at Mathematics and Science needs to be tested in Indian context. 


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