The most recent Cambridge International assessment results for Bermuda’s public school students point up serious shortfalls in mathematics skills.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Education Minister Diallo Rabain steps are underway to take a “targeted” approach to deal with it.

“Our Primary 6 students did not meet the 3.0 target for mathematics,” said Mr Rabain.

“Students’ scores were also notably below the Cambridge International average score for mathematics. These results indicate a need to continue to focus our attention on improving math scores.”

Overall, he said the results “indicate the need for targeted efforts to improve mathematics at the primary, middle and senior school levels”.

Students sat the exams for the Cambridge Checkpoint assessment and the IGCSE last year.

Joined by the Director of Academics at the Department of Education, Dr Llewelyn Simmons, the Minister said “three education officers” would be hired to cover math, science and reading.

“Our M3 students were also assessed in the areas of English, math and science. We are disappointed that this cohort scored just below the 3.0 target for English and science.

“There is much to do in this area, however, we are confident that with the new Strategic Plan results for English and science will improve,” said Mr Rabain.

On the IGCSE results, a requirement to obtain the Bermuda School Diploma (BSD), 97 percent of senior students passed English, 92 percent passed science and 72 percent passed math.

“We also examined IGSCE results for the percentage of students falling in the A to C band. The results for this band of grades drops significantly in all three subjects,” said the Minister.

In terms of what’s next he noted:

  • We have already received from Cambridge a comprehensive analysis of our students’ performance on the math Checkpoint assessments. This data has been used to develop a professional learning strategy for teachers which will commence next month.
  • In March teachers will participate in workshops designed to address student deficits and teams consisting of members from the Department of Education and Cambridge will conduct walkthrough observations to gain first hand data about teaching and learning experiences in our primary, middle and senior schools. Cambridge International staff will then share data with principals and teachers and advise on the mathematics teaching strategies to best address any observable deficits.
  • The Department will undertake the recruitment and hiring of three education officers in math, science and reading to provide the supervision and monitoring of the curriculum implementation.
  • This school year the roll-out for Strategic Plan 2022 will commence with strategies will lay the foundation for the future work needed to improve Checkpoint scores.

In closing, Minister Rabain said: “The data indicates the need for schools and teachers to work collaboratively, intentionally and persistently to implement strategies to improve students’ mathematics results.

“Students must make a concerted effort to improve their performance and parents must work in concert with schools and support wholeheartedly the efforts of the schools and teachers.

“The Department of Education staff must also provide the resources, professional development and support. The gains and improvement are evident when all four stakeholder groups work together to improve the results.”

On that note, he reaffirmed Government’s commitment “to ensuring a quality education for all students and for ensuring accountability for an improvement in our results as we implement Plan 2022”.

  • Feature Photo Courtesy of DCI
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