50 per cent of students in St. Lucia failed math at CXC 2014

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50 per cent of students in St. Lucia failed math at CXC 2014


The Ministry of Education has revealed statistics for this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results, which indicates that 50 per cent of the students who wrote mathematics failed and 35.5 percent of students who wrote English Language also failed.

The two subjects continue to be a struggle for students as the overall performance remains unsatisfactory, even with marginal increases in the pass rates.

Registrar of Examinations Carmelita Matthew told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) yesterday, August 18, that though the failure rate for both subjects remain high, there have been slight improvements. The pass rate for mathematics last year was 31.62 per cent. This year’s figure has now improved whereas 50 per cent of students passed the examination.

Meanwhile, the pass rate for English language has also made a slight improvement from 60.85 per cent pass rate last year to 64.45 this year. Matthew told SNO that the lowest pass rates were mathematics, English language, Spanish, visual arts and agricultural science.

The subjects with the highest pass rates were principles of business, principles of accounts, physical education, economics, food and nutrition, rheatre arts, electronic document preparation and management, information technology, clothing and textiles, and technical drawing.

A total of 33 exams were sat by thousands of students in St. Lucia; 28.6 percent of students who took the exams failed while 72.5 percent passed with Grades I, II and III in the general and technical proficiency subjects.

St. Lucia is not the only country that continues to perform poorly, but the entire Caribbean has been faced with poor results, especially when it comes to the two core subject areas: math and English.

The failure rate has for several years been relatively high and continues to climb.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. i really dislike the first comment made by the so called insider. do you know what it takes to be a teacher you talking about teachers are lazy. What is your occupation. You have to be in it to talk and if you were a teacher these comment would never even utter from your mouth cuz there are teachers out there who work their tails off to see the children get a proper education. so if you have nothing good to say just shut up. Before you run and call people lazy why dont you come in the classroom and lets see how you handle it

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  2. The reality is that we have to train our teachers to meet the needs of the diverse and mixed abilities of our students within their classrooms. Research has shown that every child who enters the classroom comes with a different learning style therefore, teachers should not attempt to teach all students using the same teaching techniques and strategies. The problem is that our teachers are too lazy and refuse to plan lessons to accommodate students with multiple intelligence and varied learning styles. Teachers must put in the effort if they want to make a difference. I am quite disappointed that St. Lucian think that because you have a PhD in Mathematics that you ultimately can solve the mathematics problems in our schools. Dr. Lewis needs a consultant because he is not trained in the area of Mathematics teaching. The government of St. Lucia should have recognized the importance of education in their quest to flood the Government with consultants. I guess to many consultants in the wrong places...

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    • I take offence to this statement. I think that your comment about teachers being lazy has no substance. Are you yourself a teacher? Are you aware that teachers are expected to submit lesson plans and scheme of work to be assessed my the principal and district education officers? That their performance is monitored closely? Dont you think that if these teachers were not doing what they were supposed to, then necessary action would be taken? What i think the issues are is that there are not enough resources available to teachers to meet the needs of the students. Also i think the classes are a bit too large from as low as the primary school level.So we have students who fall through the cracks. Also what responsibility do the parents have in all of this? I have a daughter and if she is failing in a subject rest assured i will do all i have to,to ensure that she improves.

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  3. hmmmmm. i think if kids spend less time liming and causing trouble and some more time studying they would improve.. math needs regular practice if u don't do it often u will fail.

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  4. Had a discussion last week with a head coach who is overseeing a numeracy project at all primary and secondary schools in Trinidad which started this year. I believe govt should obtain information from their counterparts in Trinidad and see how best they can assist our students in mathematics.

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  5. I believe you need better trained teachers all around. I visited a secondary school in the south of your island while I was researching for a PHD and very few of your teachers had been to university. I found it unusual that you would entrust the education of your youth to people who are not suitably qualified.

    My son is in primary school and all his teachers have a master in teaching. That is the requirement of the country that in order to teach you need to have acquired a masters in teaching and if you don't have a masters of teaching then tough luck, you won't teach. You also need to have no criminal convictions as you have children in your care.

    I'm not certain how difficult it is to acquire a degree or masters in Saint Lucia and to be honest. It was difficult for me having to work and study when I went to university up to PHD level. You have to make lots of sacrifices. Perhaps the country can at least request a Bachelors degree from teachers in education as a basic standard.

    Teaching is a very complex skill, you have to realize and acknowledge that all children learn differently. Each one is his or her own little person and your teaching style needs to accommodate each child's learning style, some are oral learners, others visual, some hands on etc. I also believe that I a world where children are very tech savvy, you need to utilize technology in the classroom such as ipads, interactive white boards etc to grab their attention and hold on to it.

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    • I think that in St.Lucia, individuals are able to get into teaching and then after a few years can attend the teaching division of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where they can get an associate degree in primary or secondary eduction. I don't think that teachers need to have a masters degree in education to perform their duties.

      I do however agree with you that technology should be used to improve the learning experience of our children. However there would need to be tighter security at local schools because we hear too often of incidences where schools are being burglarized.

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    • Listen, Raffish, do not try to cast your country's ideology's on ours. While you say that your country demands that your teachers have at least a Masters degree to teach you never mentioned the statistics on the pass rate. Even better, why don't you mention your country.
      Having a Masters degree does not mean that your pass results will be in the top percentile. I agree that we have a problem that needs to be addressed but I believe that you are making unfounded statements and ridiculous accusations. Let's look at the US who spend millions on education, even allowing their teachers to get Masters degrees to teach and still they have some of the lowest pass rates.

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      • I am not certain what value your comment added to my observation and OPINION. I suppose a defensive response is the more suitable one. Why not a response more along the line of Stacey's she disagrees with my view but took the emotion and anger out of it. The notion that I am trying to cast my ideology on your country is absolute tripe, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the meaning of the phrase " cast your country's ideology on ours".

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  6. Students must use bbc.com/learning math section and khan academy for 2 hrs a day, everyday. Great interactive sites. Told parents and school leaders about these sites, did they listen? No.. silly of me to suggest sites that the best math students in England and USA use..

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  7. In my opinion this is a terrible situation. As a nation we should be attempting to achieve minimum pass rates in the region of 90 to 100 percent for core subjects as English and Mathematics.
    Parents reading this article should be pressing for answers at primary and secondary school level.
    Children do not fail Mathematics and English at such levels only because of their time at secondary school.

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  8. THESE KIDS NOW HAVE TOO MANY DISTRCTIONS TO FOCUS ON SCHOOL. FROM BOY/GIRLFRIENDS,FB,INSTAGRAM,PARTIES,YOU NAME IT.AND SOME JUST DON'T CARE TO MAKE ANY EFFORT.

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  9. guess the study was right, the higher the rate non communicable disease in the country lower the IQ of its people...........

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  10. Maybe what we need are teachers who could make these two subjects more exciting for students. Let's face it, maths is boring and at that age all I thought was that I wouldn't need these maths concepts when I become an adult. As for english, I didn't know how much I liked it until I got to Sir Arthur. Teachers just need to be more creative when it comes to teaching these subjects. I also think that information technology should be added to these mandatory subject areas for CXC in the region.

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  11. This article is too negative. Based on the information provided we moved from a 31.62 percent pass rate to 50 percent. That is a 58% increase. Though the pass rate is not where we want it to be that is a significant improvement.

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    • Totally agree-we always tend to dwell on the negative. The word "fail" should not even be there. Give the success rate and then the readers will figure out the rest. 64% pass in English is still better than 50% but there is room for improvement.

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  12. Come on, if the pass rate was 31.62 % last yr and 50% this yr in mathematics.That's a nearly 20% increase.It seems that grade inflation may be occurring.

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  13. That's a matter of great concern.
    There needs an investigation as to the reasons why.

    And perhaps we need better trained teachers in that field who understands and can relate the subject to students.

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  14. Too many gadegts in the hands of these chhldren. Too much time on social media and parents trying to compete with the Jones's. Give them a test on social media language and everyone will get a 100 % pass rate. What a shame.

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  15. Well that's an improvement! In years past the pass rates in math have been as low as 30% for Saint Lucia.

    Ministry of Education has known math to be a problem area for a long time. What are we doing about it??

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