Australia's math and science education standards have been ranked below those of the same subjects in India, where 40 per cent of the population cannot read or write, according to a report.
While India has been ranked seventh, Australia ranks 29th in the annual report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) for the quality of its maths and science teachings and 12th for the quality of its educational system, The Australian reported on Tuesday.
Singapore, Finland and Belgium lead the 125 countries on the quality of their maths and science education.
The report is at odds with other studies, which have ranked Australia higher.
But the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia (APESMA) said the WEF rankings were based on an assessment by business and industry of Australia's maths and science capabilities.
APESMA Chief Executive John Vines said the lack of confidence expressed by business community about the standard of Australian education reflects workforce issues.
"It's consistent with the concerns we've been expressing for some years about the shortage of qualified maths and science teachers in the classroom," Vines said.