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LETTER OF THE DAY - Disturbing info on education sector

Published:Thursday | April 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I was jolted by two things that appeared in The Gleaner of April 27 and 28. The results of the 2009 Grade Four Numeracy Test and the ranking of high schools in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) English and maths made me wonder: What next in our education system?

At the national level, 42 per cent of primary-education students mastered (achieved mastery in) this test and 58 per cent did not. This is not good information coming out of our primary- and secondary-education system. If these results were not bad enough, then the results from some of the junior high/all-age and upgraded high schools were even worse. There are schools that have a mastery of eight to 10 per cent depending on the number of students who sat the test and high schools where students have not passed a single subject up on graduating. In addition, the gap is still widening between traditional and upgraded high schools.

These are the very students who will sit the Grade Six Achievement Test and CSEC exams, respectively, to matriculate into high schools, primary and junior-high schools/all-age and colleges/universities. How will they fare? I am hoping for the best, but hoping alone won't help. Prospective educators have their work cut out for them.

Attack the problem

Parents, teachers, the Government and students will have to wake up and attack this problem. It has this domino effect that will have to be dealt with or we will end up with the cycle repeating itself. When these students are 'ready' to sit their external exams especially mathematics at the CSEC or Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence, how will they fare?

For too long our children have been failing mathematics and other subjects, at an alarming rate, at all the levels in our education system. We need to act now to stem this runaway tide.

"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." - Robert Maynard Hutchins.

I am, etc.,


Siloah PO, St Elizabeth