Govt eyes retirees to help boost Math grades

THE Ministry of Education is expected to introduce a number of measures-one of which could be the rehiring of retired teachers to help boost performance in Mathematics at the National Grade Six Assessment.This was announced by Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Harmon Thursday at a post cabinet press conference, where he noted that Cabinet engaged in an extensive deliberation of the unsatisfactory results in Mathematics nationwide at the 2016 National Grade six (6) Assessment Examinations.

Harmon, who is also Minister of State, explained that Cabinet considers this situation to be one of national importance and it requires urgent attention to find appropriate solutions. The technical staff of the Ministry of Education is being urged to institute measures to remedy this situation, he said.

He further explained that a number of actions are to be undertaken by the Ministry of Education to enhance the school system in Guyana; through new methods such as “the assessments to be done on school systems to identify causes of the problem; the development of short term remedial measures to address the problem and to facilitate the recruitment of retired teachers to provide assistance to the system, among others.

Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine has been mandated by cabinet to meet with its technical officers and staff of the Ministry of Education, to come up with ways to combat issues in the Education system.

For many years, Guyana has consistently failed to achieve acceptable pass rates in mathematics, an important core subject, and it was noted that the previous approach to this problem has been inadequate. This year for the first time the Ministry of Education contracted the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to conduct the examination for the Grade Six students in Guyana and according to Harmon the basis of the assessment that was used was radically different to what was used previously.

As a result it exposed the weakness of the Ministry of Education’s approach to the mathematics subject. Minister Harmon explained that the matter was of high importance as cabinet spent four hours discussing and deliberating on the issue.

“It was one of the first meetings I believe, where every single member of the cabinet had a view and expressed that view very forcefully. It was noted that there had been consistent failure over a number of years, to achieve acceptable pass rates in this important course subject of mathematics,” said Harmon.

According to the Cabinet Secretary, “The cabinet was advised that the approached required the students to reason more, rather than repeating by writing and so the ability to analyze and reason exposed in greater detail the failure which occurred in our system.”


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