Ministry to address decline performance in CSEC Math and English

Curriculum Awareness 2018 - Making students more employable

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • 2016 and 2017 results in Mathematics and English less than satisfactory
  • Mathematics, English B, French, Industrial Technology Mechanical and Geography – subjects with the lowest percentage pass in 2017

Results for 2016 and 2017 in Mathematics and English were less than satisfactory after the island recorded a significant drop in students’ performance.

According to statistics released for 2017, Mathematics declined from 38.23% pass in 2016 to 35.61% pass in 2017. Performance in English A declined from 64.36% pass in 2016 to 56.89% pass in 2017.

Deputy Chief Education Officer Michelle Peters-George said this concerned the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs, and the ministry will be keeping a close eye on this year’s results with the hope that some improvement will be registered.

Peters-George says this decline points to a much larger issue that must be addressed within the classroom. “We are keeping our fingers crossed this year. We have officers out there in the field, and we are hoping that we have improved performance this year. The issue goes back to how Mathematics is being taught because Mathematics is an area that must be taught both inside and outside the classroom and experience what is happening in real time in terms of learning.”

She is also advocating for changes to be made in the way students are assessed prior to the examination. “Often teachers are using more lower level questions in their test items instead of higher level questions which will bring out the analytical and critical thinking skills in students. We need to go back and review how we assess students while they are learning to ensure that we are aware of where students are at and where they need to go.”

CXC currently has 3 committees reviewing History, English, and Mathematics with regards to the examinations and syllabuses, taking into consideration the view of teachers and students. The subjects with the lowest percentage pass in 2017 were: Mathematics (35.61%), English B (52.04%), French (53.89%), Industrial Technology Mechanical (54.55%) and Geography (56.84%).

The ministry held a Round Table Discussion with industry stakeholders on 11 April as part of its Curriculum Awareness Activities which began on 9 April. Curriculum Development Officer, Lloyd Panchoo said the session held was quite fruitful in helping the curriculum department understand the needs of the industry and to receive feedback from employers. “The feedback was an eye-opener for educators as we saw the need to improve in the area pertaining to life skills and technical training which has become necessary.”

The ministry’s Curriculum Awareness Activities culminated with an extravaganza on Friday, 20 April in the gazebo of the Eric Matthew Gairy Botanical Gardens, in Tanteen, St George, showcasing the creativity of students in various technical subject areas including art and craft design, furniture making, textile design and fashion design.

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