High-school students take a selfie with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. File: TT
Sweden suffered another blow in the OECD's latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) survey, which measured pupil's problem solving abilities. The results, published on Tuesday, saw nearly one in four Swedish children get a failing grade.
The news came soon after Sweden was slammed in December's Pisa rankings when it dropped below the OECD average in maths, reading comprehension, and natural sciences.
Tuesday's report was based on the test results from 2,500 15-year-olds who took an online test in which they were challenged to solve problems Pisa said reflected the challenges of the modern world. One set of questions, for example, involved navigating online maps.
Sweden scored 491 points, with the OECD average at 500. Singapore topped the tables with 562 points, followed by South Korea and Japan on 561 and 552 points respectively.
"It's a worrying result that Swedish students are below average in this subject too," Helén Ängmo at the Swedish School Agency (Skolverket) said in a statement.
"Creative problem solving has been brought up more and more often as important for success in education and work. This new study has given us an important signal."
Almost one in four Swedish pupils, 23.5 percent, scored an "underachieving" grade in the test, compared to 14.3 percent in Finland and an OECD average of 21.4 percent.
Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia all performed above average in the study, which tested 85,000 students in 44 countries.