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Four-day confab staged to boost math numbers

Published:Monday | February 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

A MAJOR initiative aimed at enhancing the teaching and learning of mathematics in public schools islandwide kicked off last week, with the staging of a four-day conference involving more than 200 principals and heads of maths departments in primary and high schools.

Participants were exposed to a wealth of knowledge and practical solutions that will encourage the imple-mentation of strategies aimed at improving student performance in maths, in accordance with the National Mathematics Policy Guidelines and the supporting National Mathematics Strategy developed by the Ministry of Education late last year.

Dr Tamika Benjamin, National Mathematics coordinator, in her overview of the National Mathematics Policy sought to ensure school leaders become familiar with the expectations in the delivery of mathematics. She informed that the policy aims to address imbalances in the system and ensure the implementation of standards for teaching and learning. A key component of the policy addresses the restructuring of math programmes in teacher-training colleges to ensure that they meet the required standards.

The initiative is in response to concerns regarding poor student performance in the subject, particularly at the primary and secondary levels.

This was evidenced by the 2013 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate maths results that showed only 42.2 per cent of Jamaican candidates achieving a passing grade, and only 59 per cent of the grade-four cohort demonstrating mastery in the Ministry of Education test last year.