Re­gion Tack­les Prob­lems with Maths

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Steps are be­ing taken to solve the prob­lem of Math­e­mat­ics ed­u­ca­tion in the Caribbean re­gion. The Caribbean Devel­op­ment Bank (CDB) re­cently hosted a two­day work­shop in Bar­ba­dos for Math­e­mat­ics ed­u­ca­tion stake­hold­ers across the Caribbean re­gion. Math­e­mat­ics spe­cial­ists and lec­tur­ers from the var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties and teach­ers' col­leges from Belize, Ja­maica, the OECS as well as Trinidad, Guyana and Suri­name were in at­ten­dance.

The par­tic­i­pants re­viewed the re­search con­ducted by the Univer­sity of the West Indies on the topic, “Un­der­stand­ing the Re­al­i­ties – the state of Math­e­mat­ics Ed­u­ca­tion in the Caribbean re­gion.” In ad­di­tion, the par­tic­i­pants iden­ti­fied rea­sons for the poor per­for­mance in Math­e­mat­ics through­out the re­gion.

Deputy Chief Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer (In­struc­tion) Ruf­fina Charles says the con­fer­ence was timely for Saint Lu­cia, as the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, In­no­va­tion and Gen­der Re­la­tions has made it a pri­or­ity to tackle the is­sue of stu­dents' poor per­for­mance in Math­e­mat­ics, in a very ag­gres­sive man­ner.

The meet­ing con­cluded with par­tic­i­pants de­vel­op­ing a Frame­work for Ac­tion on Math­e­mat­ics Ed­u­ca­tion (FAME) in the Caribbean. The frame­work in­tends to fo­cus on pol­icy, cur­ricu­lum, teacher prepa­ra­tion, as­sess­ment, in­struc­tional re­sources and gen­der dis­par­i­ties.

Fol­low­ing this meet­ing, a two-day Math­e­mat­ics sym­po­sium will be con­ducted on Jan­uary 31 and Fe­bru­ary 01, 2017. The prin­ci­pal ob­jec­tives of this sym­po­sium are to en­cour­age teach­ers to de­velop in­ter­ven­tions for im­prov­ing stu­dents' per­for­mance in Math­e­mat­ics; share ideas and ped­a­gogy in the teach­ing of con­cepts which pose a chal­lenge in teach­ing and learn­ing; cre­at­ing an aware­ness of new trends, strate­gies and ped­a­go­gies in the teach­ing of Math­e­mat­ics and de­velop a hand­book as part of a tool kit to im­prove Math­e­mat­ics in­struc­tion in schools in Saint. Lu­cia.

Fund­ing for the host­ing of the Math­e­mat­ics Sym­po­sium and devel­op­ment of hand­books has been pro­vided by UNESCO in the sum of US $18, 000.

Ma­jor moves are in the works for a re­gional ap­proach in solv­ing the many is­sues lead­ing to poor re­sults in math­e­mat­ics ed­u­ca­tion.

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