The Ministry of Education is concerned at the increasingly poor performance of students in the Mathematics segment of the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment.
The results of the CPEA, which were released last week Monday shows a two percent decline in the overall performance of students in Mathematics.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Finley Jeffrey said that “Maths continues to be a problem”.
The national average dropped to 54.13%, the lowest since CPEA was introduced seven years ago.
The best performance in Mathematics was a national average of 60.25% in 2016.
However, education officials seem at a loss as to the cause of the consistently poor showing in Mathematics.
As a means of tackling the problem, Jeffrey said they are taking on an additional Curriculum Officer for Mathematics and the ministry will be conducting a review to try and find out why so many Grenadian students are doing badly in the subject area.
While there were slight improvements in Science and Language Arts, students performance in Social Studies is also cause for concern, according to Jeffrey with a 2018 pass rate of just over fifty percent.
The plan is to increase the ministry’s capacity by adding a Curriculum Officer and Jeffrey said the development of what he called a strategic plan, is also on the agenda.
An arm of the Grenada Union of Teachers has also been looking at the issues surrounding declining performances in Mathematics and other areas.
Jeffrey said the ministry also has plans to train and retrain teachers and they are in the process of hiring a research analyst so that education officials can get a better picture of what the problems are in order to try and address them.
The Permanent Secretary acknowledged that student performance in Mathematics is poor even at the secondary level.
Jeffrey said there needs to be engagement of the top minds in the region to tackle what he said is a Caribbean problem of students failing Mathematics and English in large numbers.
“We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend it does not exist”, he remarked.
Two thousand and twenty-six students were registered for the CPEA.
This included one thousand and eighty-four boys and nine hundred and forty-two girls.
However, two thousand and six students wrote the Assessment and one thousand eight hundred and eight students were assigned to secondary schools throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique – nine hundred and sixteen boys and eight hundred and ninety-two girls.