JIS News

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  • Education Minister, Hon. Ronald Thwaites is reporting improvement in performance in four of the five subject areas on which students were tested in the 2015 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
  • The Education Minister, who was announcing the GSAT results in the House of Representatives today (June 16), informed that performance in Mathematics decreased by 3.7 percentage points.
  • A total of 38,662 students from over 1,000 primary schools sat GSAT, which was administered on March 25 and 26.

Education Minister, Hon. Ronald Thwaites is reporting improvement in performance in four of the five subject areas on which students were tested in the 2015 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

Social Studies recorded the highest percentage increase, of six percentage points above last year’s average; followed by Communication Tasks, three percentage points, with Language Arts and Science showing marginal increases.

The Education Minister, who was announcing the GSAT results in the House of Representatives today (June 16), informed that performance in Mathematics decreased by 3.7 percentage points.

He said an analysis of the Mathematics scores points to the need for intervention to help students to better reason and apply concepts.

“The challenge students faced handling these items may be attributed to one of the issues with which the Ministry continues to contend as it relates to the teaching and learning of Mathematics (where there is) emphasis on rote learning rather than the teaching of concepts,” he noted.

“Placing an emphasis on students remembering steps without an understanding of the underlying concepts will affect the ability of students to handle items they may consider as unusual or non- routine,” Rev. Thwaites argued.

He informed the House that plans are being put in place to provide additional levels of support under the National Mathematics Programme.

He said the Ministry will also be working closely with principals and teachers of the current grade five students to ensure that they are equipped to make the necessary adjustments to ensure “greater emphasis on concept building and to strengthen their capacity to develop and administer assessment tools, which require increased levels of reasoning and application”.

Also, there will be continued emphasis on the teaching of concepts during professional development sessions facilitated for teachers at the regional and school levels, at both the primary and secondary levels of the education system.

A total of 38,662 students from over 1,000 primary schools sat GSAT, which was administered on March 25 and 26.

Of the number, 33, 546 students have been granted places in high school; 3, 177 students were placed in technical schools; 836 were placed in primary and junior high schools; while 15 students were placed in special schools.

There was a significant decline in placements in all-age and primary and junior high schools, Rev. Thwaites said.

“Additionally, 27, 189 or 73 per cent of students were placed in their preferred schools, 9,486 or 25 per cent of students were placed in terms of proximity to the schools they are currently attending, and 899 or two per cent were placed manually in proximity to the address they submitted,” he informed.