The reading standards of English teens lag behind their Chinese counterparts by a year and a half, says a new survey.
The analysis indicated that English teens are 18 months behind Chinese of the same age and one year behind those from South Korea and Finland.
They are also at least six months behind their counterparts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.
The analysis has emphasized on the need to put English teens at par with teens from, for example, Shanghai, in terms of reading.
At present, 55 per cent of state school pupils in England get at least five A* to C grades at GCSE including English and Maths. This needs to be increased to 77 per cent, as per the survey.
Responding to the finding of the survey, Schools minister Nick Gibb has condemned the poor level of standards.
He held the education system and the society responsible that have placed little importance on reading for pleasure.
"The gulf between our 15-year-olds' reading abilities and those from other countries is stark - a gap that starts to open in the very first few years of a child's education," the Daily Mail quoted Gibb as saying.
"Our writers - Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte, George Orwell and Ian McEwan - are the finest in the world. It is time we are also among the best readers in the world," he added.