By Bibi Khatoon
The Education Ministry has again recorded below 50% pass rate in Mathematics at the National Grade Six Assessment but this year, the percentage plummeted further.
The results were announced by Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry at the National Center for Education Resource Development (NCERD) today.
The Ministry’s data shows 38% of the 14,145 students who wrote the 2018 NGSA passed Mathematics. This is below the 45% passes recorded in 2017.
The Ministry in recent years has implemented several programmes to improve the education system, the Minister said, however, she pointed out that it is a work in progress.
In the lead up to this year’s examination, the Ministry had implemented Maths camp which saw grade six pupils attending classes from 09:00hrs to 12:00hrs on Saturdays.
Some students were asked to meet at other schools which are located in the same district. While the Ministry said the initiative was geared at improving performance in the subject area, parents and teachers had raised concerns about the curriculum not being completed and the camp being used as make-up sessions.
Last year, a Mathematics intervention saw the Ministry recording a 46 percent pass rate in the area of Mathematics which was a major improvement from previous years.
On the other hand, English passes saw a 60% pass rate compared to 54% in 2017. The pass rate represents the highest percentage passes achieved to date in any of the four subject areas and was also reflected in the Hinterland regions of Guyana.
This was credited to the launching of smart classrooms and investments in education.
“We recognize that we have to invest in our people so that requires us recruiting supporting staff, developing and strengthening the existing programmes to result in the kind of results that you see today,” she told those gathered at the NCERD auditorium.
Science recorded a 46% pass rate compared to 47% last year while Social Studies recorded a 46% pass rate –same as last year.
The gender gap in the results was also highlighted. It showed that the top one percent of the country’s cohort comprised of 70 males and 104 females.
Like previous years, this year’s top performers were mostly from the private schools.
When asked about what is being done to improve the performance of public schools, Minister Henry said a meeting will be held with Regional Education Officers to devise a way to address the issue.
Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson said one of the issues affecting overall performance revolves around the quality of teachers in hinterland regions.
“We have recognized that and what we have started to do is to establish satellite teachers’ training centers in the hinterland communities,” he said. He added that the teachers are also being exposed to a series of developmental sessions.
The NGSA was written on March 28 and 29. Students will be able to access their results online at exams.moeguyana.org.