29 Trainers sign contracts to improve Math performance

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To improve the overall performance of Mathematics among students at the secondary school level, the Education Ministry has begun training teachers to improve their delivery of the subject.

Dubbed the ‘Master Trainers’, 29 educators on Tuesday signed their contracts to begin working with Mathematics Teachers across the 10 Administrative Regions.

According to the Education Ministry, the trainers will firstly train over 600 Mathematics Teachers within the regions after which the Teachers will undergo a period of mentoring and coaching.

“The Master Trainers will now be required to go into schools, work with Teachers in schools and guide them using material from the mathematics kit that has already been distributed to schools across Guyana,” the Ministry said in a statement. 

The program is being conducted under the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project (GSEIP).

The MoE and the World Bank have agreed to support GSEIP with a strong focus on improving instruction and student achievement in Mathematics.  The project started in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2019.

It has three components: strengthening the capacity of secondary school Mathematics Teachers Nationwide (US$1.8 M), expansion of general secondary school facilities (US$7.15 M); and strengthening institutional capacity and Project Management (US$1.05 M).

Senior Education Officer (Mathematics), Ameer Ali said that the Master Trainers comprise some of the best and brightest mathematics teachers at the CSEC and Grade Six level.

Some of the Master Trainers are lecturers at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) or have attained over 10 years of experience teaching the subject.

Ali was quoted in a statement from the Education Ministry as saying that developmental sessions will be held with teachers for the next two years.

The rationale is to identify the most common topical knowledge gaps (for example algebra, geometry, trigonometry) and to inform current instructional practices that need upgrading.

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry noted it is important that teachers understand delivery and content so that students can leave school with a good understanding of the principles that govern Mathematics.

With the work to be done by the Master Trainers, Minister Henry said she trusts that there will be improved performance and outcomes not only in test scores but in behavioural patterns towards Mathematics.

Also, with the prevalence of male Master Trainers involved in the project, she hopes that this will impact male underperformance, particularly in the secondary school level.

The Department of Public Information previously reported that following the training, Mathematics Instructional Specialists will conduct periodic school visits and formal observation of Teachers’ Mathematics teaching will be done. Each school will be visited no less than three times per academic year, for a period of four years. 

Additionally, all secondary schools countrywide will receive kits containing Mathematics teaching aids to enable and promote the application of desired instructional practices in specific content areas.   

At the 2018 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination, Mathematics performance improved from 39.23% in 2017 to 43.39%.

At the National Grade Six Assessment level, 30% of the students who wrote the Mathematics examination gained 50% or more in 2018. 

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