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More Students Achieve Mastery In Literacy And Numeracy Tests


JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has announced improvements in the results for this year’s Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy tests.


Speaking at today’s (October 6) sitting of the Senate, Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, informed that 84.6 per cent of all the candidates who sat the Grade Four Literacy Test received a level of mastery, while 66.9 per cent of students received mastery level in the Numeracy Test.


He said the figures for Literacy represent a 5.5 percentage point increase over the 79.1 per cent recorded last year, while there was a 7.1 percentage point increase over the 58.9 per cent attained for Numeracy in 2016.


Mastery indicates that students attained mastery on all three areas tested. Students who have mastered one or two subtests are classified as ‘almost mastery’, while students who have not mastered any of the subtests are classified as ‘non-mastery’.


Senator Reid noted that 11.1 per cent of candidates achieved an almost mastery in Literacy and 4.3 per cent of candidates were assessed as having a literacy level of non-mastery.


“Of the total number of students who achieved mastery in the Literacy Test, 78.5 per cent were males and 90.8 per cent were females. In terms of non-mastery, more males achieved this level than females (2.1 per cent difference),” he said.


Senator Reid pointed out that there was a slight increase in the number of students sitting the exams in the public schools, with 33,270 this year, as against 32,525 last year. “Within the public system, there was an 80.6 per cent mastery pass rate, as against 77.5 per cent last year,” he added.


He said that students’ performance in two of the three subtests –Reading, Comprehension and Writing Task – had an increase in the percentage of students mastering when compared to the 2016 academic year.


“These two areas saw an increase of two per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively. Students’ performance in Word Recognition decreased marginally by 1.1 per cent when compared to 2016. The subtest that had the lowest mastery rate among the students who sat the Grade Four Literacy Examination in 2017 was the Writing Task (88.3 per cent). This was also the case in the 2016 sitting of the same test,” he said.


Providing a breakdown for the General Achievement in Numeracy (GAIN) test results, Senator Reid said 25.1 per cent of students achieved an almost mastery numeracy level and 7.9 per cent of students received a numeracy level of non – mastery.


“The data show that mastery of Numeracy from 2014 to 2017 has fluctuated over the period. However, an increase was seen between 2016 and 2017. The change in mastery of Numeracy in 2017 of 7.1 percentage points above the previous year’s average, is, therefore, significant,” Senator Reid said.


He informed that throughout all six regions, female students outperformed male students in terms of overall attainment of mastery on the numeracy and literacy tests.


Senator Reid paid tribute to administrators, parents, teachers and Ministry officials for the improvements in students’ performance.


“We are pleased with the improved results. We do recognise that there are areas that require greater attention, and we will attend to those weak areas identified. The Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy test results are indicative of the positive trend shown this academic year in other national tests, such as the GSAT and external exams, such as CSEC, CAPE, and City and Guilds,” he said.


A total of 37,894 students – 19,002 males and 18,892 females – sat the Literacy examination on June 21. On the Numeracy side, a total of 37,848 students sat the examination for the first time (18,977 males and 18,871 females) on June 22, 2017.


CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, emphasises a point while updating the nation on the results of the 2017 Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy tests in the Senate today (October 6).