Education Minister Ronald Jones is still concerned about the Mathematics paper in the Barbados Secondary Schools??? Entrance Examination.
Acknowledging that seven students scored 100 per cent in this year???s Mathematics paper as opposed to 22 students in the previous year, Minister Jones said some persons regarded the paper ???as a little testing, particularly section C???.
Registering his concern about it, he said there were still some children scoring less than 10 per cent. ???We had 138 students, this year who scored less than 10 per cent,??? lamented Mr. Jones, noting that this was saying to the Ministry there were some children who still should not do the exam.
Hinting at discussions soon to come within his Ministry, he pointed out that exemptions and deferrals were offered to students and maintained they should be utilised because a child going forward and scoring zero would suggest that there were issues beyond the academics issue.
???The troubling experience of that child knowing that they scored zero should be eliminated as much as possible,??? said Mr. Jones, a former teacher.??The mean for Mathematics was 50.47 as compared to 57.6 in 2014. According to the Minister both boys and girls scores declined in 2015, over 2014.
He said the previous year it was 60.41 while this year it is 54.04, a six percent decline. He added that for the males it was 47.02, even below the mean while the females were seven percent higher.
Mr. Jones said the Ministry was trying to alleviate those trends with respect to Mathematics and divulged that there had been discussions generally throughout primary and secondary schools on the subject and similarly with the University of the West Indies to address the issue of Mathematics teaching.
???We are going to redouble our efforts to ensure that the various competencies and skills are embedded in our teachers so that they can pass on what they know to the students,??? said the Education Minister adding that the internal discussions would ensure teachers were equipped ???with the ability to really make students understand and respond to Mathematics???.
The seven students scoring 100 per cent in Mathematics were: Jasmine Simmons, St. Angela???s; Jemma Evelyn, St. Winifred???s; Afzal Jada, Al Falah; Danielle Treasure, St. Gabriel???s; Mico Johnson, West Terrace; Harrison Blades, St. Gabriel???s and Zainab Patel, Al Falah.