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Is ISSA Being Unreasonable?

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  • Is ISSA Being Unreasonable?

    <DIV>If the rest of the country is finding it difficult to attain 45%, why should footballers be expected to do so?</DIV><DIV>

    Poor CXC results - Jamaican students lag behind region in Maths, English
    published: Friday | September 15, 2006
    <DIV class=KonaBody>

    Petrina Francis, Staff Reporter

    Jamaican students continue to underperform in core subjects in the main regional assessment examination after five years in high school.

    Wesley Barrett, pro-registrar for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), has expressed concern with the continuous low mathematics and English language grades received by students in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.

    New statistics from the CXC show that of the 35,428 students who sat the 2006 mathematics exam, only 32 per cent managed to achieve grade one to three. This represents a decrease over last year's 36 per cent. This figure is also three per cent below the regional average.

    In the case of English language, of the 37,408 students who sat the exam, 46 per cent gained grade one to three. Again, this is a decrease over last year's 54 per cent and five per cent below the regional average.

    "These results are disappointing and it is still a very worrying problem," declared Mr. Barrett in an interview with The Gleaner.

    "Again, it goes back to the whole issue of the provision we make for materials," he added. According to him, there is a practical component to mathematics and there is not always sufficient material available to Jamaican students.

    Compulsory attendance

    Mr. Barrett told The Gleaner that some of the reasons why countries, such as, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados were performing better than Jamaica and above the regional average were that those countries allocate more money per capita to education and have instituted compulsory attendance.

    "If your allocations are pretty low, your results will be similarly affected," said Mr. Barrett, who is a former chief education officer in the Ministry of Education.

    The CXC pro-registrar said if Jamaica wanted a major improvement in CSEC results, the Government would have to make attendance compulsory.

    Another reason Mr. Barrett pointed to for the poor performance of students was what he described as "the critical shortage of mathematics teachers". He proposed that the solution to this problem was to provide incentives for these teachers.

    "I think the market will have to come into play in determining emolument packages," he suggested.

    Mr. Barrett explained that in some countries a special premium is put on subjects in scarce supply. "And mathematics is definitely one of them and we will have to take a very pragmatic approach and see where we could provide extra incentive for persons who opt for these scarce areas," he said. "This is a matter that we will have to address seriously."

    Notwithstanding the poor performance of the students in the core subjects, Mr. Barrett said there was improvement in other subject areas. Biology, for example, had a success rate of 73 per cent, a percentage above the regional average. Mr. Barrett said Jamaica's students tend to perform better in the technical vocational areas. <TABLE><TBODY><TR><TD>Year</TD><TD>Mathematics</TD><TD>English language</TD></TR><TR><TD>2006 </TD><TD>32 per cent</TD><TD>46 per cent</TD></TR><TR><TD>2005 </TD><TD>36 per cent</TD><TD>54 per cent</TD></TR><TR><TD>2004 </TD><TD>25 per cent</TD><TD>39 per cent</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></DIV></DIV>


  • #2
    RE: Is ISSA Being Unreasonable?

    I am sure the next time Munro have an old boys function you will hear many of the illustrious past students talk about the days when they played football, cricket, tennis and everything else and still were able to get minimum seven GCE O'Level with distinction and Four A'Levels.

    The same pertained at KC, JC, Wolmers, Mannings and Rusea's and Cornwall.

    I was at a function at CC yesterday to celebrate the 110th anniversary and heard about this nuclear physicist who played DCup for three or four years and still had time to be a Jamaica Scholar and then a Rhodes Scholar.

    Hearing him speak you realise he was not a lab rat who had no time for sports but was fully involved in many extra-curricular activities.

    Old Boys were pointed out who used to play all sports and still were getting nine distinctions, maybe they did not have Nintendos and Computers and cable to distract them from their work.
    Solidarity is not a matter of well wishing, but is sharing the very same fate whether in victory or in death.
    Che Guevara.


    • #3
      RE: Is ISSA Being Unreasonable?

      Maybe because dem neva had any Cell phones and/or nuff gals back then:P
      Life is a system of half-truths and lies, opportunistic, convenient evasion.”
      - Langston Hughes