The Ministry of Education says it will continue to build the capacity of teachers in Mathematics amid concerns about the migration of some of the nation’s most qualified educators.
Opposition Spokesman on Education Ronald Thwaites has attributed the 3.2 percentage point decrease in Math passes in the May/June sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exam to the shortage of qualified teachers for the subject area.
Dr. Tamika Benjamin, Mathematics Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, says there is no need for panic despite the challenges caused by the exodus of teachers.
Speaking on TVJ’s Smile Jamaica Tuesday morning, Dr. Benjamin said there will be an increase in the number of Math teachers because the Ministry has offered more than 400 scholarships for teacher training in the last three years.
However, she said a holistic approach is needed to improve the performance in Mathematics.
“People proudly tell you they can’t do Math, but they will never tell you they can’t read. We need to move away from that. We need to help people to recognise that Math is just as important so parents have a part to play, our teachers have a part to play, and the ministry has a part to play and our students have a part to play,” she said.
Dr. Benjamin said the Ministry of Education is looking at deploying specialist Math teachers to primary schools.
She said in both the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination and CSEC, most students struggled with the reasoning component, therefore, the Ministry will be working with teachers on “how to facilitate critical thinking” in students.