English jumps to 60% at NGSA

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Minister of Education Nicolette

…stellar performances recorded in hinterland

RESULTS in English Language for the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) has climbed to a 60 per cent pass rate, but mathematics, which made a significant come back last year, declined from 42 per cent last year to 38 per cent this year, well-placed sources have confirmed.

According to the source, in the case of social studies and science, 46 per cent of the students who wrote the examinations gained 50 per cent or more. The Guyana Chronicle was told that all of the administrative regions recorded improvements in English Language with significant results in Regions, Two, Seven, Nine and 10.

Official results of the NGSA will be released around 13:00hrs today. Despite the decline in maths this year, the 38 per cent pass rate is very significant, given the poor performance of students at this subject over the years. Government had injected $48M into emergency intervention to strengthen the teaching capacity of mathematics at the Grade 6 level in public schools in 2016.

In 2011, 62 per cent of students scored below 50 per cent in mathematics, 59 per cent in English, 58 per cent in science and 68 per cent in social studies. During the presentation of the 2017 Budget, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan revealed that of the 14,386 students who wrote the 2016 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) only 14 per cent or 2,014 students were able to achieve a pass grade in mathematics and less than 50 per cent achieved passes in English. Jordan stressed that these results represent a crisis since “over 12,000 of our children were not numerate, while more than half of those writing English could not sufficiently comprehend our official language to attain a 50 per cent score.”
Students across the country have been struggling for years with mathematics and the APNU+AFC Government had deemed this a crisis which needs fixing immediately. President David Granger had mandated former Minister of Education, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine to meet with technical officers and staff of his ministry to find solutions to address the issue. Over the years, Guyana has failed to achieve acceptable pass rates in mathematics, a critical core subject. This year the Ministry of Education has contracted the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to conduct the examination for the Grade Six students here and it was discovered that the different assessment illustrated the deficiencies in the system.
Dr Roopnaraine had presented his report to Cabinet with several recommendations, including the training of teachers in content and methodology; facilitating fortnightly cluster meetings in all regions; the recruitment of mathematics coordinators and monitors; the training of officers and school administrators to supervise the teaching of mathematics; preparing and administering a diagnostic assessment of pupils in the hinterland regions before training; the enhancement of public relations, parental involvement in the education of their children and the acquisition of support material for the students.
Ahead of the March 28-29, 2018 examinations, Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson had assured that the Ministry of Education has been engaged in a multiplicity of programmes and activities “to ensure that the performance of our children is much better.” Some 14,551 students registered to sit the examination. “We have been working assiduously to improve performance. Last year we enjoyed the improvement in mathematics and all the other subject areas showed marked improvements with the exception of social studies which was consistent, but the other subject areas–Science, Mathematics and (English) Language–we saw improvement, so we’re hoping to not only sustain the performance this year, but we are looking to excel,” Hutson had said.

Hutson noted too that there has been a marked improvement in the ministry’s use of technology; that will also play a part in the children’s performance. “We have embarked on the use of technology in the Ministry of Education, and I can say without a doubt that we have seen a marked improvement in the use of technology, and we are a far way ahead compared to two or three years ago. We have been working with STEM Guyana, and they’ve built an app that we have been using, allowing our children to access educational material on their devices. The Ministry of Education itself would have procured a smart classroom at NCERD and we have been interacting with children from Region 1, 2, & 3, with the assistance of E-Governance.”

The CEO also mentioned one such tech-programme, the ‘Success Maker’, which allows students to do classwork on the computer. The programme only permits children to advance after they are successful at particular stages, therefore regulating and helping them to perform better.

Please join us for live updates on our facebook page facebook.com/gychronicle starting from 1pm today. Also look out for our special supplement in Friday edition of the Guyana Chronicle on the 2018 results.