Slight decline in Mathematics

by Kimberley Cummins

ronaldjonesspeakingon11plusresults2013As children island wide and their parents rejoice about the results in this year’s Common Entrance Examination, officials from the Ministry of Education are concerned about performances in the Mathematics paper.

Speaking at a press conference this morning at the Ministry of Education’s Elsie Payne Complex on Constitution Road to reveal the statistics of the May 6 test, Minister Ronald Jones revealed that there was an improvement in the national mean in English.

Even though only two students scored 100 per cent in that subject, on the other hand Mathematics suffered a “marginal” decline in the national mean, which dipped from 58.72 per cent to 55.4 per cent.

Of the 3,840 students who sat the 11-plus, only one student, Jaren Worme, of the St. Winifred’s School, scored 100 per cent when compared to the 30 students who gained full marks in 2012.

“That is saying that we have to continue … to improve the overall performance in Mathematics in our country. [W]e will continue to intervene where necessary to ensure that Maths scores will show an upward trajectory.

“It means that we will have to look as well to how it is delivered to our students and their acceptance of how it is taught — looking at output and outcome in relations to Mathematics teaching,” said the minister.

He added: “Part of the emphasis of the ministry, since we have now under our remit Science, Technology and Innovation, the approach that we really have to place greater emphasis and particularly since the national development agenda is heavily focussed in that area.

“We have to have our students more ready and able to handle Mathematics and sciences generally. We are also aware we must [pay] some attention to science teaching and social studies at the level of primary school.

“We don’t like to see slight declines in any form so we will continue to work on that. We have to look at the paper intensely to see if there was a slightly higher difficulty … this year as opposed to last year.

“So far our review show, not that there was a higher level of difficulty, but that students have to really engage their minds to what the questions are asking and to answer the question not what they simply believe the answer should be.”

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