Education ministry revises numeracy target amid poor performance
The Ministry of Education has revised the target for mastery of numeracy concepts for the nation's children as it continues to grapple with poor performance in mathematics.
The announcement comes as it is revealed that the majority of teachers in primary schools and math teachers in secondary schools are not trained to teach mathematics.
Writing in today's Sunday Gleaner, Chief Education Officer Dr Grace McLean revealed that only 10 per cent of mathematics teachers are trained to teach the subject at grade 11, while at the primary level a significant percentage have challenges with the content.
According to McLean, the education ministry recognises the link between teacher quality and performance and has introduced interventions to achieve 85 per cent numeracy by 2018. The 2018 target is down from the 2015 timeframe set by the United Nations as one of the Millennium Development Goals. Only 58 per cent of the country's children have attained mastery of numeracy concepts.
McLean says attaining the 85 per cent mark will be dependent on the success of several of the education ministry's strategies going forward, including building the capacity of primary and school teachers and teachers of mathematics at the secondary level.
Forty-five math coaches have also been deployed to 55 high schools and 32 primary schools to support math teachers in the nation's schools.
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