Chief Education officer, Steve Hyacinth, has warned that the continued unacceptable performance in Mathematics in the nation’s schools raises the concern that perhaps that subject is not being taught properly.
Speaking to teachers of grades K-3 at the opening ceremony of a three-day Numeracy Workshop at the Public Training Centre on Monday morning, Hyacinth pointed out that the ministry is faced with the challenge of ensuring that all students move through the school system with the ability to be numerate.
“The Ministry of Education holds true to its vision ‘Each child can learn’… every child should leave our school being literate and numerate, however the reason why this is not happening is not because students are not academically inclined, but it is a reflection of the quality of training they receive at school,” he said.
He added that with the right tools, teachers who are confident, who are oriented towards improvement and are prepared to implement creative, innovative strategies in the classroom, can cause students to be very successful.
Hyacinth urged teachers to continue to be innovative, creative, seek to remain current and enhance their ability to teach students.
Speaking at the function, Senior Education Officer, Nicholas Goldberg revealed that the vast majority of students perform at one grade below their level in Mathematics. According to him, students in grades K to 3 usually love doing Mathematics, however, their attitudes change toward the subject as they move up the grades.
“We need to ensure that we diagnose our students before they come into the classes, find out what they know so that you can build on it. There is a failure of teachers to relate the Mathematics to real world. It is important that students know the purpose of learning Mathematics,” Goldberg pointed out.
He said further, that there is a much greater need for investigation and discovery in Mathematics since too often students are given the wrong impression on the subject and are not given the opportunity to discover.
The workshop is being facilitated by Laurie Sealy and is sponsored by MacMillan Publishers.
It is designed for teachers and principals of primary schools across the island.