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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education is implementing strategies aimed at improving the performance of boys in numeracy.
  • Statistics reveal that boys are some 20 per cent behind in the achievement of full numeracy.
  • Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, pointed to the John Rollins Success Primary School’s Math Olympics, held every two years.

The Ministry of Education is implementing strategies aimed at improving the performance of boys in numeracy, and enabling them to be more focused on Mathematics.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, told JIS News on Thursday, April 3, during the John Rollin’s Success Primary Schools Math Olympics 2014 in Rose Hall, St. James, that a targeted approach is being taken towards improvements in Mathematics.

She said statistics reveal that boys are some 20 per cent behind in the achievement of full numeracy.

“Our boys love to be physically engaged in activities, while our girls will go with the normal activities we utilise in the system. So we are getting them more engaged and we are also ensuring that the strategy that is being used is one of integration and application,” she said.

Dr. McLean pointed to the John Rollins Success Primary School’s Math Olympics, held every two years, noting that the activities are in keeping with the national numeracy strategy is being rolled out.

“Since last year, we have started to celebrate the second week in March as ‘Math Week’ and this is the week that we have a number of activities all across the island,” she informed.

The John Rollins Success Primary School’s Math Olympics are also a part of the general activities to create awareness and enthusiasm among students, “for them to understand the importance of Math,” the Chief Education Officer said.

Observing that Math is a feared subject, she said in the past, parents were of the view that children could progress without this subject. Today, however, Math is required for all professions, the Chief Education Officer stated.

“What we want to do is to ensure that every single Jamaican student will sit Math at the end of secondary (school) and will at least attain an acceptable grade before leaving this level,” she said.

Dr. McLean said there have been incremental improvements in Math at the Grade Four level. “We are currently at 58 per cent, which was a six percentage point increase in 2013.  We are sincerely hoping that with all the strategies that we have put in place, the various interventions, capacity building workshops that we have been having … that we will see improvements for 2014,” Dr. McLean told JIS News.

The activities were conceptualised by John Rollins Success Primary’s Principal, Yvonne Miller-Wisdom, and conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), under the theme, ‘Creating tools, setting new trends … sustaining numeracy’.