After years of Guyana struggling with low pass rates in Mathematics at the
National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examination, new measures implemented have resulted in improved performances recorded this year.
This was revealed by Education Minister Nicolette Henry on Friday as she announced the results of this year’s NGSA.
Given the continued poor performance in Mathematics; one of the core subjects, President David Granger through his Cabinet stepped in to have an emergency Mathematics intervention plan.
This move resulted in the Ministry implementing recommended measures such as training of teachers in content and methodology, developing learning communities where teachers were able to share information and experiences regarding mathematical concepts, and the recruitment of monitors and coordinators to ensure that the emergency plan was implemented in the classrooms.
Enhancement of public relations, parental involvement in the education of children and acquisition of support materials for students such as mock exams were also among the new initiatives undertaken by the Ministry.
These measures, Minister Henry noted, have been fruitful given the improved performances at Mathematics, which recorded a whopping 32 per cent increase when compared to last year in the number of students who obtained 50 per cent and more pass rates.
Over the past three years, Maths recorded a 37.49 per cent pass rate in 2015, 13.85 in 2016 and 45.6 per cent this year. This year, the students were tested in this subject based on their knowledge, algorithmic thinking and reasoning.
Nevertheless, the similar increasing trend was also seen in the other subject areas.
In 2015, English recorded 45.88 per cent, 41.62 per cent the following year and in 2017 54.1 per cent pass rate of students gaining more than 50 per cent. “This is the first time in many years that we were able to get over 50 per cent passes in a subject area and that is absolutely phenomenal,” the Minister stated.
For this subject, the candidates were tested in the areas of reading, comprehension and vocabulary; structure and mechanics; content, focus, vocabulary, language and organisation.
The figures for Science were 44.12 in 2015, 27.55 in 2016 and 46.3 per cent this year. In this subject, they were tested for knowledge, comprehension and application.
Meanwhile, there was a 46.5 per cent pass rate recorded in 2015 for Social Studies, 46.1 per cent in 2016 and 47.6 per cent in 2017. Knowledge, conceptual understanding and use of knowledge were the areas tested.
Going forward, Minister Henry outlined that the Ministry has very ambitious but realistic targets that would ensure the students can realise their full potential. She noted that they will be focusing on these structural interventions undertaken to work assiduously to achieve their objectives.
Zooming in on the measure implemented, the Minister underscored the importance of some such as parental involvement. She noted that the Ministry cannot achieve its goal if parents are not involved in the process and play their part in moulding the children. “So it’s a collaborative process,” she posited.