Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 15, 2019 (SKNIS): At a press conference held at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) on August 15, to give an overview of St. Kitts and Nevis’ May-June 2019 CXC Examination Performance Preliminary Results, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, stated that there has been a decline in the pass rate for Mathematics. However, his ministry will take a comprehensive approach to increase the pass rate as it has done in previous years with much success.
This year, Mathematics returned 216 acceptable grades out of 434 for 49.77 percent compared to 65.40 percent last year. Private candidates returned acceptable grades of 53.42 percent for that subject.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards stated that in 2018 there was an increase in the pass rate for Mathematics than that of the previous year. “Like any other subject there are fluctuations in terms of the pass rate from year to year,” said the deputy prime minister.
“However, Mathematics is one of the core subjects that we teach in our schools. Having recognized that we have had a decrease in the pass rate this year, of course we are going to look at several different factors,” said the deputy prime minister. “We are going to look to see if this is the trend within the entire region because that in itself might indicate that perhaps the exam this year was a little more difficult than it would have been last year or in past years.”
As a School-Based Assessment (SBA) component was introduced, the ministry will look at the component to ensure that students are able to maximize the percentage of marks which can be gained from it.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards said that generally when his ministry is not satisfied with a particular pass rate it sometimes seek assistance from CXC in terms of recruiting an individual to conduct sessions with the teachers who teach that particular subject in an effort to improve the delivery of the particular subject.
“We have also received assistance in some cases from OECS, for example, Early Learner’s Programme (ELP). We deemed that an area that we needed assistance in,” he said. “So we are going to take a comprehensive look at it and make a determination as to how we can best assist the students in improving the pass rate for Mathematics.”
Deputy Prime Minister Richards noted that private candidates had a higher pass rate than those within the schools. To ensure that the pass rate is increased in schools, private instructors are often looked at to determine what they are doing differently from the school teachers.
“We also look at the individual schools to see perhaps if one school has a higher pass rate than the other schools and what is being done differently in terms of the delivery of Mathematics in that particular school as compared to the other schools,” said the deputy prime minister. “In summary, we will take a comprehensive look at it and determine the best way forward in terms of improving the pass rate.”