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Belgian children ranked last in international literacy study
Belgium has come last in an international study of children's reading skills, which compared literary skills in 28 developed countries.
The Pirls (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) compared children's reading ability in the fourth year of primary school - around the age of nine and 10 - across 28 OECD member countries.
Belgium's score of 497 is behind the EU average of 542, the study found.
Simon Casterman, vice-president of the Association of Belgian Publishers, said the findings were alarming.
"Only 22% of Belgian school pupils at this age have a good command of reading while the average of the EU member states is 50%," he said.
The countries with the highest average reading achievement were Russia, Singapore and Hong Kong.