The Ministry of Education is looking to retrain Mathematics teachers in a bid to improve the national performance in that subject area, Minister of Education Ronald Jones has said.
Addressing Parliament today, Jones admitted to a challenge with Mathematics at the primary level, while stating that officials have been receiving assistance from various education institutions in addressing the concern.
“We’ve been working with Erdiston Teachers College, the curriculum section of the Ministry of Education, and the Maths persons in the Science and Technology Faculty of the University of the West Indies to re-equip, retool our teachers with the composite skills, knowledge, attitude, to be able to impact on Mathematics teaching at the level of our primary school establishments.
“We’re also looking to refine how that is delivered by bringing Maths specialists to impact on that learning in primary schools,” Jones said, adding that he was aware that not all educators were comfortable teaching the subject.
Last year, the national average in Mathematics in the Common Entrance Examination fell by 2.17 points from 50.47 per cent in 2015 to 48.3 per cent in 2016.
Jones noted however, that students’ performance in English at the primary level, particularly in the Common Entrance exam, had improved, with 88 per cent now scoring 40 per cent or higher, compared to 67 per cent eight years ago.
According to him, there has been “no fundamental changes” to the exam during that period.
“Therefore with that . . . percentage point movement it is suggesting that the students are becoming more comfortable, and teachers are becoming more comfortable in dealing with that aspect of the wider curriculum within primary school system,” Jones said.