Math shows slight jump; decline in other subjects at NGSA

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The Education Ministry has recorded an improved performance in Mathematics at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) when compared to last year.

According to the Education Ministry, 42% of the 14,300 students who wrote the NGSA this year, secured  50% and more in Mathematics.

This is an improvement from the 38.3 percent seen in 2018 and a stark improvement from the 13.85 percent recorded in 2016.

The Ministry said this is as a result of its Emergency Mathematics Intervention Plan which entailed training for teachers in content and methodology, facilitating fortnightly cluster meetings in all Regions, recruitment of Mathematics coordinators and monitors, training of Officers and School Administrators to supervise the teaching of Mathematics, administering a diagnostic assessment of pupils in the hinterland Regions prior to training of teachers, enhancement of public relations and parental involvement in the education of children.

However, while performance in this subject continues to improve, English, Science and Social Studies performances have dropped from 2018, forcing the Ministry to re-look at its strategies.

“Sometimes you look at the areas that you think it is you’re weak in and you do that at the expense of other subject areas,” Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson said in response to questions from the media following the announcement of the 2019 results on Wednesday.

Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson

A 57.4 percent pass rate was recorded in English in 2019 as compared to 60.6% last year. Thirty-nine percent of the candidates gained 50% and more in Social Studies as opposed to 46.1 percent in 2018. Meanwhile 42.4% gained 50% and more in Science as opposed to 46.8 percent in 2018.

Hutson said the Ministry will need to acquire the item analysis to look at the specific topics which have proven to be difficult for the students.

“We have to make sure that we do not continue to focus on those areas at the expense of other areas and that is something that is brought sharply into focus at this time,” he said.

Education Minister, Nicolette Henry sought to defend the performance by noting that passes in all subject areas improved from 2012 to present.

Education Minister, Nicolette Henry

It was pointed out that while 39 to 57 percent of the students who wrote the examination passed in the various subject areas, this also meant that 43 to 61 percent of those students failed the exams.

The Minister argued that education is “a gradual process” which takes time to show results.

“I really would be happy as the Minister of Education to come here today and say all of the students were able to get more than 50 percent, we are a long shot away from that,” she noted.

The Minister outlined that there are several things which needs to be done including curriculum reform which has already started.

Below is a table of the percentage of Candidates securing 50% and more

Region No of candidates

 

Mathematics

 

(%)

English

 

(%)

Science

 

(%)

Social Studies

(%)

   

2018

 

2019

 

2018

 

2019

 

2018

 

2019

 

2018

 

2019

 

2018

 

2019

 

1

 

964

 

978

 

15.1

 

15.6

 

29.4

 

29.8

 

18.2

 

14.5

 

17.1

 

11.6

 

2

 

938

 

913

 

32.2

 

38.3

 

53

 

50.7

 

42.1

 

38

 

42

 

32.8

 

3

 

1827

 

1836

 

41.3

 

51.7

 

62.5

 

65.7

 

51

 

52.2

 

50.5

 

48

 

4

 

3057

 

2893

 

39.4

 

44.2

 

62.2

 

60.5

 

50

 

45.8

 

50.2

 

42.1

 

5

 

894

 

858

 

34

 

35.8

 

54

 

51

 

40.1

 

35.5

 

41

 

33.7

 

6

 

1808

 

1701

 

33

 

37.7

 

54

 

52.1

 

41.3

 

37.2

 

40.2

 

33.8

 

7

 

556

 

574

 

25.2

 

26

 

48.2

 

45

 

27

 

25.4

 

25

 

21

 

8

 

286

 

350

 

9.1

 

19.1

 

32.2

 

33.1

 

14.3

 

13.4

 

11.5

 

13.7

 

9

 

750

 

728

 

17.1

 

19.2

 

40

 

38.9

 

22.4

 

19.7

 

20.5

 

18

 

10

 

779

 

849

 

47.1

 

51.1

 

71

 

65.6

 

55.2

 

52.7

 

57.5

 

47.4

 

G/town

 

2658

 

2620

 

54

 

58.8

 

77

 

74.6

 

63.1

 

60

 

65

 

56.5

 

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