CANBERRA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Australian students are continuing to struggle in maths and science, with just 7 percent of eighth grade Aussie kids considered to be at an "advanced" international level.
According to the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Australian students slipped down five spots in global rankings in both year 8 maths and science, with Australia now trailing nations such as Hungary, Kazakhstan and Slovenia.
Australia is ranked 27th overall in year 4 maths and science and marginally better at 17th in year 8 maths and science.
Australian Council for Educational Research's (ACER) chief executive Geoff Masters told News Corp that the figures were concerning as it was now been 20 years that Australian students had slipped down international rankings.
"The 20-year slide in maths and science learning is a national challenge that requires a national response," Masters said on Wednesday. "We cannot afford another 20 years of stagnation. The answer is not to do more of the same."
ACER's director of educational monitoring and research, Sue Thomson said the results were a shock and should be considered a big wake-up call for lawmakers.
"We are actually slipping backwards," she told News Corp.
Meanwhile the nation's Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the results were not an anomaly, as local testing had shown similar results.
"These new statistics, our (local testing) results and other international rankings all show that, despite significant funding growth in Australia, we are not getting sufficient improvements in student outcomes," Birmingham said on Wednesday.
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said while the results were concerning, recommendations from the Labor-backed Gonski report, a review of education funding, had yet to be implemented at the time of testing.
"Only around 7 percent of the six years of Gonski needs-based funding had flowed in 2014," Plibersek said.
"So drawing any link between the TIMSS result and Gonski needs-based funding is completely wrong.
Pressure is now on the government to fund the fifth and sixth year Gonski recommendations, which it chose not to do in its most recent federal budget.