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Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says he is targeting a 10 per cent improvement in Mathematics passes in the major examinations at the primary and secondary levels.

These are the Grade Four Numeracy Test, Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC).

He said that as part of this initiative, the Ministry will be increasing the distribution of Mathematics specialists throughout the education system, particularly in schools where there are weaknesses.

“I’m challenging the schools, the principals, the teachers…we want to give you the help to achieve (these results), and we are going to hold you accountable,” the Minister stated.

He was addressing teachers and students from across the island, who turned out for Wednesday’s (March 6) first staging of the National Mathematics Expo held at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

The Grade Four Numeracy Test results show that in 2009, some 45 per cent of the age cohort achieved the requisite level of mastery in numeracy; 38 per cent in 2010; 46 per cent in 2011; and the pass rate improved to 54 per cent in 2012.

For GSAT, 53 per cent of students achieved mastery in 2009; 57 per cent in 2010; 62 per cent in 2011; and 63 per cent in 2012.