JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has indicated that attaining universal numeracy at the primary level of the education system is a priority.

 

“That will take some time. The last time I checked, we were in the region of about 60 per cent of students attaining mastery in the national numeracy exams at grade four,” he noted.

 

He was speaking on a motion brought by Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Rev. Ronnie Thwaites in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 6), regarding measures to improve the standard of performance in mathematics and science.

 

Prime Minister Holness said that while the pass rate is “not satisfactory… it was better than where we were 10 years ago; so, we have seen improvements”.

 

“Yes, we need to redouble our efforts, look at new measures, but we need to support the measures that already exist,” he added.

 

Mr. Holness cited the need for more trained teachers in the system and a change in how persons view maths, in order to improve performance of students in the subject. “Maths is [a] universal language, and every Jamaican should be conversant in it,” he pointed out.

 

In an effort to improve the quality of teaching, more maths specialists and coaches have been deployed to schools islandwide.

 

There is also the provision of job-embedded professional development and the training of principals and heads of departments to improve the leadership of mathematics in primary and secondary schools.

 

Between 2015 and 2016, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information funded the award of more than 200 scholarships for student-teachers, with 168 specialising in mathematics education.

 

CAPTION: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, emphasises a point, while addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 6).