There is a “void” in mathematics teaching in primary schools, and Minister of Education Ronald Jones is querying whether children are being taught correctly.
And Jones, a former primary school teacher, expressed worry that fractions were giving many 11-year-olds “hell”, while a large number of the compositions written for the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE) were “awful”.
His comments were made as 3 728 students, comprising 1 870 boys and 1 858 girls prepare to sit down tomorrow to write the BSSEE, better known as the Common Entrance Exam or 11-Plus. Jones lamented that maths problems with fractions continued to give exam students “hell”.
“Every single year when we sit down to do the analysis of the 11-Plus, it is the same problem. Now if you recognise that that is a problem, why hasn’t [the] problem been corrected? Students, therefore, might not be receiving the appropriate instruction, the appropriate process, the appropriate trend in order to make the change or make the adjustment,” he said.
The English scores appear to be problematic as well, with Jones terming most of the compositions presented as “awful”.
“[Teachers] don’t know how to teach essay writing, composition, how to teach creatively. These are facts,” he said.