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Math slide continues

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand announced the 2013 CXC results at the Anna Regina Multilateral School, Essequibo.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand says it is time to rethink the country’s entire approach to teaching Mathematics as 2013 CXC results reveal a dip in the already dismal pass rate.

A report from the ministry shows that Guyana recorded a 28.92 percent Grades One to Three pass rate in the subject this year, a marginal decrease from last year’s 29.69 percent. The figure was 30.4 percent in 2011 and 34.5 percent the previous year.

“We haven’t seen the kind of results I’d like to see, 29 percent passing Mathematics is no way near acceptable for us. It has to change, how we make that change would be something that we really have to go back to the drawing table and pay attention to,” Manickchand said.

The minister said Mathematics and English were two areas in which students around the world were struggling and they had to find ways to ensure students improve.

“My great concern is Mathematics, I think we really have to start from the beginning, we have to look at what we’re doing in the primary schools, we have to look at what we’re doing at the CPCE, how we’re teaching teachers to teach.

There was a whole host of things that were done that we could see results from later on. For example we don’t only have a syllabus now, we have given teachers a weekly plan so we tell them this is what you must do in week one, week two, week three so by January of CXC year the syllabus is finished and revision starts,” Manickchand said.     

She added that they have also given out past exam papers since Mathematics was about practice. In 2011 the minister had announced a new measure to boost Math and English scores, especially the former, whereby students at selected schools would be given past papers with solutions, revision text books, scientific calculators, geometry sets, graph papers and extra lessons.

“We still haven’t seen the corresponding result, we haven’t seen a result that is proportionate to the investment in the subject,” Manickchand said.

The English A results for Grades One to Three saw a climb in the pass rate from 37.02 percent in 2012 to 45.69 percent this year. That figure was 60.8 percent in 2011. Clothing and Textiles was listed as the third unsatisfactory showing with the figures plummeting from 76.83 percent last year to 47.11 percent this year.

The report showed that 13,654 candidates wrote 34 subjects from Guyana this year with the overall pass rate in Grades One to Three nudging up to 59.31 percent from last year’s 58.69. The pass rate rose to 80.92 percent when the Grade Four figures were included.

The ministry said of the 34 subjects excellent performances were recorded in 15 subjects where the Grade One to Three passes exceeded 75 percent. Satisfactory performances were recorded in 16 subjects where the Grades One to Three passes exceeded 50 percent while Grades One to Four passes were in excess of 75 percent.