VIENNA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Austrian elementary school students are at least one year behind schedule in math and natural sciences compared to students in top countries, a study published on Tuesday said.
The annual Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed Austrian students in the fourth grade rank No. 17 in math with 505 points, 101 points less than No. 1 Chinese Hong Kong.
The TIMSS is carried out in 36 countries.
Dr. Claudia Schmied, Austria's education secretary, considered the study a reconfirmation of the need to invest more in the country's education system.
Meanwhile, some educators suggest introducing obligatory preschool education.
Helga Thomann, the federal state elementary school supervisor of Austria's Steiermark state, said elementary schools and kindergartens have to become interconnected to make the country remain competitive internationally.