Aug 07, 2017  kaieteur News

Notwithstanding the recent improvement in the performance of students at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), “half of all students lack the basic foundation needed to excel at the secondary level”.
This is according to the Mid-Year report presented by the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan to the National Assembly on Thursday.
The report said that preliminary analysis of the results from this year’s NGSA indicated that efforts, at all levels, including government, community and family have begun to result in some improvement.
“From 2016 to 2017, the pass rate of students sitting for mathematics at the NGSA has risen from 13 per cent to 45 per cent.” Despite this, the report said that the fact that such a large number of students are unable to excel at the secondary level, is an unacceptable position that government will continue to address as matter of national priority.
The improved performance in mathematics, according to the report, was due to measures being put in place following the disappointing results of last year’s NGSA. Government had responded with a plan called the “Programme for Emergency Education Reform (PEER).

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This year, $337.1M was allocated towards the programme. Based on figures presented in the report, $166M of that total was expended during the first half of the year, with $66M being spent on training, $62M on learning materials and $40M to hire coordinators and monitors.
“With regards to training, 548 grade 6 teachers, 452 head teachers and 51 coordinators and monitors were trained in the area of content and methodology, during the first half. PEER will ultimately serve as part of the series of planned interventions aimed at improving the outputs and outcomes of the education sector.”
Moreover, it was explained that while PEER is a targeted intervention, government had started the process of systemic overhaul with the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project (GESIP).
The report said that the initial package, as part of the overarching education reform process, will include integrated curriculum reform of mathematics at the primary level with emphasis on content and pedagogy, which is the method of practice and teaching.
Additionally, it was stated that this process is expected to be repeated for mathematics at the secondary level and English at the primary level, according to the report.
Further, it was reported that an additional 380 teachers are expected to complete training in the second half of this year, which is reduction from the original target of 600.
“The Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), in enforcing graduation standards, saw 133 trainee teachers withdrawing. An additional 200 trainee teachers had to repeat courses across semesters, delaying their graduation.”