The Ministry of Education will be putting in place a working group aimed at improving the performance of students in both Mathematics and English Language.
“This will include the best minds from the academic community, who will assist us to deal with what I consider to be a crisis and the main element that may drop us short of our Vision 2030 national targets,” said Portfolio Minister, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites.
The Minister was addressing stakeholders at a meeting to explore factors contributing to the decline in the performance of students in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) English ‘A’ and Mathematics for 2012. The meeting was held on Thursday August 23 at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices.
The pass rate for English Language dropped to 46 per cent from 63.9 per cent last year, while 31.7 per cent of students, who sat Mathematics attained passes, which is a slight reduction from the 33.2 per cent pass rate in 2011.
The Education Ministry has been prompted to act to address the deficit, especially in Mathematics, and among the measures being considered is to provide incentives for Mathematics teachers to stay in the classroom. “At this point, it is suggested that this is particularly needed,” Rev. Thwaites said.
The national Mathematics and Numeracy Policy is also being reviewed and updated, and National Numeracy Co-ordinator, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, explained that one of the things to be addressed is the qualifications that individuals should have to teach Mathematics at specific points in the system.
“So, because there are a number of routes that somebody could take to become a qualified teacher, we want it to be very clear that for persons, who are employed to teach (Math) at the early childhood level, what qualifications they should have and the same for persons that work from Grades Six to 13,” Dr. Benjamin said.