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  • The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be placing special focus on secondary schools where the majority of students are scoring grade four in Mathematics at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) level.
  • The Permanent Secretary also noted that the Ministry will be introducing full scholarships for math, science and Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET) teachers to improve the teaching and learning of math.
  • The National Mathematics Expo was held during Math Week from March 6 to 11 under the theme: ‘Math Counts’.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be placing special focus on secondary schools where the majority of students are scoring grade four in Mathematics at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) level.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Maurice Smith, said the move is part of initiatives to improve student performance in the subject area.

“We have an initiative that is called ‘Operation Turn Around’ where we are working with high schools that have the majority of the students scoring grade four. We are using training camps to excite them and working with them one-on-one to improve their performance,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary was addressing the opening ceremony of the National Mathematics Expo on March 10 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, in St. Andrew.

Dr. Smith informed that math coaches have been placed in underperforming schools and “we are getting math specialists to work alongside the teachers themselves who are not as comfortable as they need to be.”

“So, where we have individuals, who are strong and demonstrate particular levels of expertise in math, we provide them with additional support to work alongside colleagues. What we are trying to do is raise performance across all levels,” he pointed out.

The Permanent Secretary also noted that the Ministry will be introducing full scholarships for math, science and Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET) teachers to improve the teaching and learning of math.

The scholarship programme, which is now open, is seeking 600 teachers to be trained as Mathematics instructors. Under the four-year scholarship programme, teachers will be bonded for five years. At the end of this period, they will be deployed to institutions across the island to assist in improving the teaching and learning of Mathematics.

National Mathematics Coordinator in the Ministry, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, said the annual National Mathematics Expo is one of the premier events on the Ministry’s calendar.

“The main aim of the expo is to provide the opportunity for students and teachers to interact with Mathematics in a way they don’t usually do in the classroom. We wanted to provide the opportunity to see math as it is used in everyday life,” she said.

Over 3,000 students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the island attended the all-day event, held at the Old Library on the Mona campus.

Some 41 exhibitors from public and private sector agencies mounted booths, showing tools, aids and creative methods of teaching Mathematics.

The day’s activities also included campus tours conducted by UWI officials, a concert, and competitions, where students earned various prizes.

The expo, which is in its fourth year, is one of the measures being employed by the Ministry to improve the teaching and learning experience of both teachers and students in math.

Through the initiative, the Ministry also seeks to improve attitudes towards learning of the subject by placing special emphasis on raising public awareness of the importance of math in daily life.

The National Mathematics Expo was held during Math Week from March 6 to 11 under the theme: ‘Math Counts’.