JIS News

Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, says greater emphasis will have to be placed on reading comprehension, citing less than satisfactory results in the 2009 Grade Four Literacy Test.
Data from the Ministry show that on the three sub-tests of skills – Word Recognition, Reading Comprehension and Writing – children performed best on word recognition, with some 5,313 of them not mastering that skill. This compares with 10,584 and 10,265 not mastering writing and reading comprehension, respectively.
Some 46,663 students from public and private schools sat the Test, which was administered for the first time this year, with 70 per cent achieving mastery. Twenty-one per cent achieved almost mastery and nine per cent non-mastery. Of the 32,682 students who achieved mastery, 57 per cent were females, and 42 per cent were males.
“The performance of boys on the sub-tests was far below that of girls. While the difference between the level of mastery between the sexes on word recognition was 11 percentage points, there was a difference of about 20 percentage points for reading comprehension and writing,” Mr. Holness told the House of Representatives, yesterday (September 15).
A breakdown of the results show that for word recognition, 94 per cent of female students achieved mastery, compared with 83 per cent for males. For reading comprehension, the girls again outnumbered the boys with 87 per cent to 69 per cent.
In the writing sub-test, 87 per cent of girls achieved mastery, compared to 67 per cent for the boys.
Of the 792 public schools with 41,662 students sitting the test, approximately 67 per cent of them attained mastery; while 23 per cent attained almost mastery and 10 per cent non-mastery.
Mastery is achieved when a child has fully commanded the three sub-tests of skills – word recognition, reading comprehension, and writing – and is considered literate.
Almost mastery means that the child has mastered one or two of the three skill areas of the test, and is considered close to being literate, while non-mastery means that the child has not mastered any of the three skills, and is considered non-literate.
“While 18 per cent of schools, about 142 schools, performed in the highest quintile, that is in the top 20 per cent of schools, eight per cent performed in the lowest quintile.The majority of schools performed in the fourth quintile, which is a favourable, but not satisfactory position,” Mr. Holness told the House.
He pointed out that there had been no significant negative impact on performance of schools due to size. Schools are divided into two categories, with enrolment of 100 or less being deemed small schools, and those with enrolment greater than 100, falling into the large schools category.

Skip to content