The Ministry of Education has completed its diagnostic assessment of pupils in the hinterland towards improved performance in Mathematics at the primary level.
Acting Chief Education Officer (CEO), Marcel Hutson, disclosed yesterday that the assessment was part of the emergency education intervention for improved Mathematics performance.
Hutson, according to a government release, noted that in the hinterland, the primary level has the poorest performance in Mathematics. The diagnostic assessments, conducted by education officers, seek to identify what measures are needed before training is implemented.
“Let us see what it is that they know and based upon what they know we will determine the level of training, and how deep we need to go in terms of their training, in terms of the administration of that region, in terms of even the REOs and officers, what we need to do in terms of training them too, to supervise and monitor the programme,” Hutson explained.
The official said the assessments have been completed and education officers are in the process of analysing the data collected. The assessment is one intervention to address poor performance in Mathematics at the Grade Six level.
Other interventions include training of teachers in content and methodology.
“What we have discovered in our supervisory visits, and our monitoring visits, in some cases, we find (that) our teachers, they are not familiar with the content of the curriculum and the methodology that may have been used may not have been the best so to speak,” Hutson noted.
Teachers across the country have been meeting for the last month at fortnightly cluster meetings to discuss how to effectively tackle problems encountered in relation to content and methodology.
“A very large part or a very expensive part of the component has to do with the acquisition of materials such as Mathematics tool kits and workbooks for our children to engage in practical activities,” Hutson pointed out.
The Ministry of Education has submitted to the Ministry of Finance costs for the acquisition of Mathematics tool kits to make the subject more interactive. These interventions are part of a holistic strategy by the Ministry of Education to address the poor performance in Mathematics. Cabinet has approved $48.6M for implementation of the immediate phase of the plan.
The administration earlier this year expressed alarm at the level of passes in Mathematics.