JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, today launched a national mathematics campaign, aimed at improving the performance of students in the subject at the primary and secondary levels.
  • He said the initiative is expected to play a key role in assisting the Ministry in attaining the national target for proficiency in mathematics.
  • Rev. Thwaites credited the improvement in mathematics passes in the 2014 Caribbean Secondary School Certificate (CSEC) examinations to interventions made in 96 schools that were targeted by the Ministry and given assistance.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, today launched a national mathematics campaign, aimed at improving the performance of students in the subject at the primary and secondary levels.

Dubbed ‘Math Counts’ the programme involves the training of teachers on new ways to teach the subject. These teachers, called mathematics coaches, are drawn from schools across the island and have been undergoing training, through sponsorship from the Insurance Association of Jamaica and Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS).

Speaking at the launch, which took place at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, Minister Thwaites said the programme is very good and should be supported by all players in the education sector.

He said the initiative is expected to play a key role in assisting the Ministry in attaining the national target for proficiency in mathematics.

“We are far off track to meet the national target of 85per cent proficiency at Grade 4 by 2015, which was set for us. Our new target is 85 per cent proficiency in numeracy at Grade 4 by 2018. At Grade 11, we are setting a target of 85 per cent of the age cohort to sit mathematics by 2017,” he stated.

Rev. Thwaites said the Ministry remains resolute that students leaving school must be certified in mathematics and expressed confidence that the coaches will be able to produce significant improvements in passes for the subject.

“This year with no additional money, the Ministry of Education is prepared to invest $350 million and we are going to do it next year and we are going to do it the year after, in ensuring that there is this added capacity to assist students through their teachers and coaches and resource persons,” he stated.

Rev. Thwaites credited the improvement in mathematics passes in the 2014 Caribbean Secondary School Certificate (CSEC) examinations to interventions made in 96 schools that were targeted by the Ministry and given assistance.

“I am not cheering to think that one swallow does the summer make, but what I do know is that a methodology has been instituted, which we are expanding and broadening today…which has made the difference. There is a co-relation between those 96 schools that were targeted two years ago…the cohorts in Grades 10 and 11 and were given particular interventions that have made the difference,” he stated.