Education Minister Peter St Jean is commending moves by some teachers on the island to form the National Association of Mathematics Educators.
The organization, which was formed on May 14, 2010, is an initiative aimed at broadening the scope and quality of teachers generally and improving the teaching of mathematics in Dominica particularly.
St.Jean welcomed the move saying this undertaking was in response to evidence of the poor mathematics performance among students in the Commonwealth of Dominica at the national and regional examinations.
“According to the 2009 CXC results, out of 671 students who sat the exam in Dominica only 37.7 % of students obtained grade 1, 2 or 3 in the mathematics exam. Simultaneously, the 2009 Grade 4 National Assessment identified that 34% of the students were found to be working at or above grade level (compared to 35% in 2008). The majority (64%) are operating more at grade 2 or 3 level after five years of primary education,” the minister said.
In April 2009, a steering committee made up of Heads of Math Departments from secondary schools, was formed to undertake a study of mathematics education in the Commonwealth of Dominica.
They found weaknesses throughout the system. Following a series of district meetings, delegates were selected for the formal launching of the National Association for Mathematics Educators.
Meantime, the association has announced plans of holding a series of workshops for teachers, and a website will be developed to support their work in schools for the new school year 2010-2011. However, they understand that the approach to solutions to the country’s mathematics challenges must be long-term.
It is the first education association launched by the Minister of Education and Human Resource Development underscoring the need for improved performance in mathematics at all our schools.
“Mathematics equips students with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills, organizational skills and an ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life,” the minister said.
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