THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am deeply saddened by the generally low Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) pass rate this year.
After many heated debates with colleagues, friends and family members, it became clear to me that the wrong approach is to attack the teachers who are in charge of imparting the knowledge to the students.
Apart from generalisations being very harmful, we need to look towards the end result. This means that time cannot be wasted bickering about who is to blame.
Analysing the situation from the angle of the teacher and student, I will admit that sometimes, teachers are very discouraged. There are some students who either cannot grasp subject matter as quickly as others, or are very disruptive.
Maybe there is a disconnect in the transmission of the knowledge that is needed to successfully manipulate the subject matter.
Furthermore, bad pass rates are nothing new. But with less than half of our students passing mathematics, it has finally sent up a red flag.
However, we have not acknowledged that this has created a slightly bigger problem: not every one of these failing students can afford to resit the exam and so will be at a disadvantage in the future. Is it that we'll have a generation that will just not be as proficient in mathematics as they need to be?
GOOD RESOURCE MATERIAL
With that said, we have to find solutions for passing the exam. I recall my distressed cousin using a book that is filled with clear-cut solutions for CSEC mathematics students. It was written by Dr Sam McDaniel, head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of the West Indies. My cousin got a grade one in CSEC mathematics after using this book as a guide while she held various math practice sessions with her friends.
Not all students would be willing to sit down and practise because some persons just dislike the subject, but having perused the book myself, I believe it explains this nicely. This book should, therefore, be placed on booklists for CSEC students as it works out past paper questions in a step-by-step manner.
In all this confusion, we've been seeking a solution. This book is what we're looking for, I believe.