Math stats not adding up

St. John’s — Why are Antigua & Barbuda’s primary and college students excelling in math, while secondary students are faltering?

This is the “dilemma” education stakeholders were attempting to answer and remedy when the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate results were released yesterday at the National Archives building.

“We have to find some answers as to why this is happening… This is a question and issue that we have to grapple with and solve, ” Education Minister Dr Jacqui Quinn Leandro said.

In the May/June sitting of the CSEC, there was a 27 per cent pass rate in math — a two per cent slippage from last year. According to Dr Leandro, regionally there has been a three per cent drop in mathematics.

The minster went on to say that the phenomena is “of grave concern” to the education ministry, saying: “While individual schools performed exceptionally well in math, the overall country performance leaves much to be desired.”

However, education officer in charge of mathematics, Caron Weston, said that the poor academic preparation of teachers is one major reason why the students have been faltering in mathematics.

Revealing that a “needs assessment” found that, out of the 75 government secondary teachers instructing math, only three hold a math degree.

“We need to make certain that we have quality teachers teaching the subject and that is where it is going to start,” Weston said.

She noted that additional teacher training had already begun, starting with a recent workshop held this summer. (Antigua Observer)

2 Responses to Math stats not adding up

  1. Hezekiah Lewis August 21, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Ministry of Education officials seem to have one answer to every problem that faces the schools and student performance: teachers. Whatever the question, the all-encompassing answer seems to be: teachers.

    Well, it is high time that these officials stop pretending that they have education as a priority and as a national issue, devoid of the insipid, political noises. It is very disheartening to hear government officials using the same convenient trite gobbledygook to excuse their failure to think deeply about the issue of education and to consult honestly with the true experts in education, the teachers.

    As the system is structured right now, the teachers are at the bottom of the very hierarchical educational structure and they are required to accept, without question, every directive from people who have long forgotten what it was to be a teacher or from people who have never had any desire to teach, but who are sure they are better teachers than the teacher who has to teach 40 unruly and indiscipline students.

    It is always very easy to talk negatively about teachers while sitting at your desk in an air conditioned room while earning three or four or even five times as much as the class room teacher.

    It is the easiest thing to criticise a teacher when at the start of every year, school supplies are weeks late; while repairs to school promises have not been done and while critical staffing problems receive little considerations for months.
    Let us stop the finger pointing and ask a teacher who is honestly committed to improving education in all areas, but especially in mathematics.

    We have done the usual inanities for decades; let us now make a genuine effort, including adequate funding, to improve education in Antigua and Barbuda and the region, as a whole. It is time!

    Reply
  2. Hezekiah Lewis August 21, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Ministry of Education officials seem to have one answer to every problem that faces the schools and student performance: teachers. Whatever the question, the all-encompassing answer seems to be: teachers.

    Well, it is high time that these officials stop pretending that they have education as a priority and as a national issue, devoid of the insipid, political noises. It is very disheartening to hear government officials using the same convenient trite gobbledygook to excuse their failure to think deeply about the issue of education and to consult honestly with the true experts in education, the teachers.

    As the system is structured right now, the teachers are at the bottom of the very hierarchical educational structure and they are required to accept, without question, every directive from people who have long forgotten what it was to be a teacher or from people who have never had any desire to teach, but who are sure they are better teachers than the teacher who has to teach 40 unruly and indiscipline students.

    It is always very easy to talk negatively about teachers while sitting at your desk in an air conditioned room while earning three or four or even five times as much as the class room teacher.

    It is the easiest thing to criticise a teacher when at the start of every year, school supplies are weeks late; while repairs to school promises have not been done and while critical staffing problems receive little considerations for months.

    Let us stop the finger pointing and ask a teacher who is honestly committed to improving education in all areas, but especially in mathematics.

    We have done the usual inanities for decades; let us now make a genuine effort, including adequate funding, to improve education in Antigua and Barbuda and the region, as a whole. It is time!

    Reply

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