Education Minister Highlights Increase in Numeracy Rate

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (left), outlines the achievements of the Ministry to reporters on January 15, at the HEART/NTA corporate offices, in St. Andrew. At right is Executive Director of HEART/NTA, Dr. Wayne Wesley.

Story Highlights

  • With the numeracy rate increasing over the last five years, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says this must serve as an impetus for targets to be achieved in the education sector.
  • He argued that the results are related to “gradual” improvement in early childhood education, where over the last four years the Government has doubled the number of trained teachers in the sector, along with other investments.
  • Rev. Thwaites said the Ministry is also open to assist students with the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J), and the City and Guilds examinations, who are unable to meet the January 15 deadline for registration, due to unaffordability.

With the numeracy rate increasing over the last five years, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says this must serve as an impetus for targets to be achieved in the education sector.

Rev. Thwaites, who was outlining achievements of his Ministry, at the HEART/NTA corporate offices in St. Andrew, on January 16, said with all the challenges surrounding the teaching and learning of Mathematics, the continued increase is “significant.”

The numeracy rate moved from 49 per cent in 2011 to 67 per cent in 2015, and Minister Thwaites said all the personnel who over the last 15 years helped to boost the system since the Ministry started setting targets for subjects, need to be commended.

In the area of literacy, Rev. Thwaites said the country surpassed its literacy target of 85 per cent at Grade four.

Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the largest number of students recorded perfect scores in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and there was a noticeable increase in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Mathematics passes.

He argued that the results are related to “gradual” improvement in early childhood education, where over the last four years the Government has doubled the number of trained teachers in the sector, along with other investments.

The Minister said other improvements will be reflected at the higher levels of education when children receive quality education at the basic level.

He urged parents to register their children for the various examinations, and to seek the Ministry’s intervention where they need support, including financial. He emphasised that no child should be prevented from sitting the examinations when help can be provided.

Sitting of the GSAT will be held on March 17 and 18, while the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy tests will be held on June 28 and 29 in all primacy schools. Candidates are to be registered at the nearest regional offices.

Rev. Thwaites said the Ministry is also open to assist students with the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J), and the City and Guilds examinations, who are unable to meet the January 15 deadline for registration, due to unaffordability.

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