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Jones: Some teachers hate math

Minister of Education Ronald Jones is contending that some of the nation’s teachers exhibit a strong dislike for Mathematics, which in turn impacted on the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination results.

Speaking at an awards ceremony and presentation for the Electricity and Renewable Energy Science Exposition at the Ministry of Education yesterday, Jones said his ministry had recognized that there were teachers “who have an aversion to Mathematics”.

“We want our young people to have full appreciation for Mathematics. I think sometimes it is what teachers bring as well that can affect how children learn, how children respond,” he said.

In announcing yesterday’s results, the minister revealed that the national average in Mathematics had fallen by 2.17 points from 50.47 per cent last year to 48.3 per cent in 2016.

Today, he said the ministry was looking at ways to modify the teaching methods for Mathematics and sciences.

“We have outlined some plans to take every teacher who teaches through a rigorous relearning process, preparing them to deliver in the classroom and to move some in the primary school into math specialization,” Jones said.

Jones also warned that if teachers were lackadaisical, uncertain, lacked confidence or failed to command the classroom space, their students would tune off.

“They may look wide awake but they are going to shut down on you. So don’t care how you try, don’t care how you coerce, you are not going to get much from that level of behaviour which you show.”

He said if students had a weak Mathematics foundation at the primary level, the problem would continue at secondary level and would manifest itself in the examination.

There were several complaints from students following the May 3 examination, that the Mathematics paper was difficult. There were also suggestions that there were inaccuracies in the paper.

However, Jones restated the position he expressed tuesday when he released the results, that there was nothing wrong with the paper, adding that some students likely did not understand some of the questions.

6 Responses to Jones: Some teachers hate math

  1. harry turnover June 9, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Jones ya attacking the Teachers again.,,,,BUT….some of this new maths nonsense that the teachers are using… HARD AS HELL for the children.
    I once showed my nephew an easier way to do simultaneous equations,the method I was taught in the 60s and 70s and when the boy showed it to the teacher she said ” you can do it that way too “

  2. Sheena Sunshine
    Sheena Sunshine June 9, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Jones i think it’s time you be removed from that Ministry. … you expect the students to respect the teachers if YOU continue to disrespect them STOP IT

  3. Ejd June 9, 2016 at 7:12 am

    The man got to be sick. Blame everyone but the children. Blame the teachers for everything. He is so anti-teacher. I think he should be the minister of the mothers’ union.

  4. Donna Harewood June 9, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I think the minister speaks the truth but should probably have worded it differently. He is not good with words and even when he speaks the truth he is likely to offend unnecessarily. Announce the new plans. These are good ideas and entirely necessary but you needn’t have explained why you are doing it. That would have addressed the concerns of parents without pointing fingers at the teachers. I am also concerned about how mathematics is being handled at secondary schools. Mathematics is learnt through practice. Four examples will not sink it into their brains. They may understand initially but will forget without practice. Homework assignments need to be set for all topics. This is not being done. Children are being told to review notes. One cannot leave it up to the parents. Some of them are incapable of helping and some of them just do not care. Teachers are being paid to teach these children. Children should not be further disadvantaged if they don’t have parents who can help, parents who care to help or just parents who can afford private lessons. Teachers in my day set homework for every new assignment. That worked so I do not know why it has changed. Teachers, any explanations?

  5. BaJan boy June 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    They don’t only hate Maths they also hate your arrogan,ignorance,and ugliness. You just need some class Minister

  6. Michael Clarke June 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

    While I think it is rather a strong statement to say that there are teachers who hate Maths I would say that all teachers are not necessarily comfortable with all the topics and skills that they are required to teach. As Instructional supervisors our task is to equip them with the skills they need to become comfortable with their instructional delivery. Sometimes the approach makes all the difference.

    Teachers will not be effective in delivering a curriculum that they do not believe in, support, or have an investment in. I have no doubt that some teachers are being asked to teach things in Math in a way that they do not themselves understand. This is where effective and informed instructional coaches are important. They can work with the teachers to improve their comprehension and their instructional delivery.


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