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'Significant' improvement in numeracy, says Thwaites

Published:Wednesday | January 20, 2016 | 1:06 PM

With the numeracy rate increasing over the last five years, Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites has said this must serve as an impetus for targets to be achieved in the education sector.

Thwaites, who was outlining achievements of his ministry at the HEART Trust/NTA corporate offices in St Andrew on January 16, said that with all the challenges surrounding the teaching and learning of mathematics, the continued increase is "significant".

The numeracy rate moved from 49 per cent in 2011 to 67 per cent in 2015, and Thwaites said all the personnel, who over the last 15 years helped to boost the system since the ministry started setting targets for subjects, need to be commended.

In the area of literacy, Thwaites said the country surpassed its literacy target of 85 per cent at grade four.

Meanwhile, the minister informed that the largest number of students recorded perfect scores in the Grade Six Achievement Test, and there was a noticeable increase in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate mathematics passes.

He argued that the results are related to "gradual" improvement in early-childhood education, where over the last four years the Government has doubled the number of trained teachers in the sector, along with other investments.