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Emergency plan approved to stem decline in Grade Six English, Math

In the face of steadily declining performances in English and Mathematics,  government has given it stamp of approval for a seven-point plan to arrest the situation, Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced on Thursday.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) reported that Harmon said the strategy is termed the “Emergency Education intervention for improved performance in Mathematics by students in Grade Six.”

The programme entails training of teachers in content and methodology, facilitating fortnightly cluster meetings in all regions,  recruitment of mathematics coordinators and monitors,  training of officers and school administrators to supervise the teaching of mathematics,  preparing and administering a diagnostic assessment of pupils in the hinterland before training,  enhancement of public relations and parental involvement in the education of  children and the acquisition of support materials for students.

Minister Harmon said that after a very thorough discussion, financing of the plan was approved and the sum of $48, 682, 690 granted for its implementation, which has already begun. Further sums, he added, will be approved as the strategy continues to be implemented in 2017 and onwards.

The National Council for Education Research and Development (NCERD), Minister Harmon explained, has also moved to address the Mathematics deficiency by several interventions. These include the rehiring of teachers who left the education sector due to retiring or other issues including measures to attract those based overseas, increasing the available number of persons able to teach the subject, and the holding of conferences for teachers across the country to prepare for the strategy being implemented.

  • Gtloyal

    “Nations will march towards the apex of their greatness at the same pace as their education. Nations will soar if their education soars; they will regress if it regresses. Nations will fall and sink in darkness if education is corrupted or completely abandoned”
    Simon Bolivar.
    Apart from our deficit of trained teachers, inadequate infrastructure and quite unattractive teaching conditions, from an educational point of view, one of the reasons we are still an underdeveloped country actually lies in what we teach in our schools and how. The system is not designed to prepare the students for our labour market so that we can all contribute to the building of our nation but mostly follows that of countries whose objectives differ because the educational requirements of their labour force are not the same as ours. (I’ll concede that it may be because we aim at preparing students for foreign schools and their examinations due to our deficit of houses of higher learning) As a result, we find ourselves following a syllabus to which the students cannot relate, thus the difficulty in mustering interest or, when it’s found, the rapid lost of it. Add to this our cultural differences.
    Dealing with mathematics in an examination, for example, means that we must deal with correct written English, a language with which grade six children may not be totally comfortable as yet. Mathematical problems must be understood to be solved. Knowing the language limitations of many students, we seldom touch on reading and comprehension when teaching the subject in the classroom. And when students do understand, we seldom answer the ever present query in the young minds about why they have to learn to solve these problems and how and where they can apply it in their lives.
    Students must relate. They should see the subject’s connection to their lives and not as something abstract. To achieve this we must develop a school system geared at preparing students for their real-world problems and solutions. And this must begin in the early grades if we are to cultivate any interest in the subject.

  • rudeo

    would like to dialogue with you on points of common understanding….I teach math and have been saying for years that we are dealing with math as simply numeracy…that is arithmetic….the entire curriculum is geared to memorization…no analytical skills….walking pocket calculators…not able to solve any math problem….rehiring retired teachers will not necessarily change performances overnight….we have to look at the culture of our present regurgitating a bunch of formulae…and for God’s sake stop this madness of 20 subjects at CSEC…..all our academics pursued university programs and earned PHDs with 5 – 6 o-levels….48 million dollars will not cut it….of course a lot of pockets will have substance….voila!

    • Col123

      Rud… help me out here… which came first- 0 or 1 ?..and don’t give me that zero is not of numeral value..

      • rudeo

        The counting system was used with digits 1 to 9….an anonymous person from India gave the world the figure zero which is a place value allowing the world to count easily to any value….move the zero after 1 when 9 is reached…and infinitely…..he/she asked to remain anonymous.

        • Col123

          I understand you to say that the zero was randomly positioned following the ninth count in its sequence to recognize value infinitely…I am OK with that ..but it not a answer to my question. Ques:..If in the scheme of value, there was one,what was the value prior to one?….Please, I am not arguing this, I am trying to get your views..

          • rudeo

            zero was not randomly placed…rather after 9 zero was introduced after 1 to make 10…after 19 zero was placed after 20 to make 20 and so on….before zero was formally introduced into the number system there was nothing….can’t say what number indicated nothing….zilch…nada….etc

          • Col123

            Thanks Rud..I follow your point..random was a poor choice of word….sequence seems more like it since it is on topic….the question still remains energetic in many ways…since it follows that BEFORE you can count the value of one, two, three…etc..the high probability of zero, nada, zilch, or ? existed, and was recognized as starting point of that sequence, BEFORE anyone can say or can verify, that the sequence of 1,2,3.etc..denotes a value..
            The question of “something” starting from “nothing” continues with relevance ….with “nothing” representing a value of energy…or so I am thinking..may get back to you …and thanks..and hey, I have to be careful with that Indian zero origin thing and interchange the ethnicity with the group in discussion..