Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw is reporting a slight decline in students overall performance in this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examinations (BSSEE).
Speaking to members of the media during a press conference at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Constitution Road, this morning, Bradshaw revealed a slight decline in the national mean for both the Mathematics and English papers.
Bradshaw said that 35 students, 22 males and 13 females scored full marks on the Mathematics paper, representing a significant increase from ten students in 2018. Six male students scored zero on that paper this year while in 2018 all males students earned a score.
However, the Minister said the national mean in Mathematics for 2019 was 61.58, representing a slight decline of 0.88 from 2018 when it was 62.46. In 2017 the national mean was 55.0.
The Minister also indicated that there has been a marginal decline in the overall performance of males over the period 2018 to 2019, but a small improvement has been observed in the overall performance of all students by 0.37 to 65.63 from 65.26 in 2018, and 58.1 in 2017. She said the overall performance for males dipped by 1.85 from 59.73 in 2018 to 57.88 in 2019 and 51.8 in 2017.
She explained that the decline in the students’ performance in Mathematics has been reflected in the number of public schools which perform above the national mean.
“In the past, it was observed that there has been a core of schools, which are consistently among the top performing schools and a corresponding group of schools that performs the complete opposite. This year has seen some disruption to the core, as there has been some upward and downward movement of schools within, into and out of the core.
“A few schools which consistently performed below the mean have made their way above the mean. Similarly, a few schools, which normally perform above the mean, have fallen below the mean. However, the fact remains that the majority of public schools (42) have consistently scored below the national mean over the past three years. Whereas the majority of private schools (20) continue to perform above the national mean,” she said.
Meanwhile, the overall national mean in English for 2019 was 65.74, representing a decline by 3.7 when compared to the national mean of 69.44 in 2018. Further analysis of the data also shows that there has been a marginal fluctuation in the overall performance of females over the past three years whereas male performance continues to steadily decline.
Minister Bradshaw said analysis of data showed that there has been some fluctuation in the number of public schools that have performed above the national mean in English over the past three years. In 2017, 22 public schools scored above the national mean as compared to 27 schools in 2018, and 25 in 2019.
“This highlights the fact that the majority of public schools have consistently scored below the national mean over the past three years. Data for the private schools reveal that 21 private schools scored above the national mean for English, while only eight scored below for 2019.
“Further inspection shows that in 2018 as well as 2017, 19 scored above the mean and six and five respectively scored below the mean. Thus, it can be noted that the majority of private schools have scored above the national mean over the three-year period,” she said. [email protected]