Education Minister: Students Can Improve Grades

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Education Minister, Ronald Jones, wants students to continue striving for success and not settle for a Grade 3 in examinations when they can achieve a Grade 1.

Addressing the annual speech day and awards ceremony at The Alexandra School recently, Minister Jones declared: ???I want to see Grade Threes disappear; I want to see Grade Twos and Grade Ones; I want to see our children reaching their potential.

“I want to see our young people stop pretending that they can???t do better. Every single young person in Barbados can do better than they are currently doing!???

Students heard that with commitment, focus and perseverance, they could achieve success and ought not to be satisfied with being the one who ???just ran??? or ???almost made it??? after sitting exams.??There are some things that rest squarely in your control; learning rests in your control. What do you want to be! Who do you want to be! That is important,??? said Mr. Jones.

Furthermore, the Minister who is also responsible for Science, Technology and Innovation, stressed teachers should not have to beg them to study or complete school-based assessments (SBAs) but students should see the work they did at school as helping to transform their lives.

Meanwhile, Principal Orson Alleyne, reporting on the overall performance of the students who sat examinations offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), said the Speightstown school ???continued on its upward spiral of improvement???.

???Over the past two years, we have seen the overall performance of the school improve by a total of 9.64 per cent. One of the objectives for the school for the 2013- 2014 school year was to realise a five per cent improvement in the overall pass rate. We achieved that goal and surpassed it by a considerable margin. In the 2011-2012 school year, the overall pass rate was 70.75 per cent.

???It improved by 0.93 per cent in the 2012-2013 school year to record an overall pass rate of 71.68 per cent. The overall pass rate for 2013-2014 was 80.39 per cent, an 8.71 per cent improvement over the previous year. This improvement was realised without any significant difference in the number of students entered for these examinations,??? offered Mr. Alleyne.

He praised teachers and the various departments for the year???s performance as he listed the successes. Among the subjects he commented on were French, English and Mathematics.

Of these he said: ??????Students who wrote CSEC French performed exceptionally well, recording a 44.31 per cent improvement in performance over the last school year. The generally good performance in English A was maintained, registering a 86.83 per cent pass rate, and Mathematics also experienced a significant improvement in performance, registering a 28.24 per cent improvement over the past year.???

Nonetheless, Mr. Alleyne said small declines were realised in a few subject areas, which have already engaged the school???s attention. ???Every effort will be made to address the identified areas of weakness to ensure that student achievement in this school meets the set performance targets,??? he concluded.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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