# CXC math a struggle for BVI! Territory excels in other subjects

The Ministry of Education has indicated the need for improvement in Mathematics as the Virgin Islands recorded a pass rate of 46.45% in June 2024 Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results.

According to a press release by the Ministry on Thursday, September 26, whilst the island surpasses the regional pass rate of 36% in math, the recorded pass rate of 46.45% indicates room for improvement.

“The Ministry of Education is already engaged in efforts to address the teaching and learning of Mathematics from the foundation levels. This includes targeted professional development for teachers, increasing classroom resources, and the introduction of a Certificate in Mathematics Instruction for primary teachers in 2025. We are committed to strengthening Mathematics education and improving outcomes in the years ahead,” the release stated.

Though the BVI has some way to go in Math passes, the territory continues to see improvement in English A, with a recorded pass rate of 95.55%. This year shows an increased pass rate of three percent from 2023.

Overall, the ministry said the territory’s students sat a total of 35 subjects with the average pass rate for all at 85.3%.

There was also a 100% pass rate in 11 of these subjects, a 90-99% pass rate in seven, and an 80-89% pass rate in five subjects.

The top performers for the Virgin Islands were announced as Orrett Donald Kennedy and Jaydeen Martin of St George’s School. Kennedy passed 11 subjects with 9 Grade I passes while Martin passed 10 subjects with seven Grade I passes., Meanwhile, Gorcia Iona Johnson from Claudia Creque Educational Centre – passed nine subjects, seven of which were Grade I’s.

The Ministry congratulated all the students including the top achievers, and commended the institutions and their teachers for their hard work.

In 2023, the Virgin Islands attained a 46.6% pass rate in Math, which represented a 2.4% decrease from 2022, and a 4.6% increase over 2021. This year’s rate shows a less than one percent decrease from an already notably low score.

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If we have a 8th grader as the minister who only have the children playing with steam balls what do we expect? There is no plan for education. NONE!

Once again two of the smaller school top CSEC results and its played down by the Education Department. It’s very Sad.

Congratulations to top students Orrett Kennedy and Jaydeen Martion of St. George’s Secondary Division and Gorica Iona Johnson of Claudia Creque Educational Centre.

Congrats to the top students especially Claudia Creque. When the minister is touting these statistics please include how many students wrote CXC from each school. Also include the average number of subjects written.

No wonder it start from the top with the 20 millions short from the budget….

Not doing well in math, but touring the world playing robotics. Go figure!

One reason why the maths pass rate is low, comes down to the teaching style of many teachers. Many teachers could not care less if the students understand their one track teachings despite the student best effort to pay attention. Its either the student get it the first or 2nd time, or if not, too bad and the teacher moves on. A student may either have to locate funding for after school classes or they get left in the dust by sometimes substandard teaching. Not all but some teachers behave like this.

2. The sort of questions that come on the CXC exams tend to be alien from what was taught in school. This will cause a massive underscoring and false reading of a students skills and ability in mathematics.

3. I remember getting a grade 6 in cxc maths when i was in high school. The teachers style of teaching just was not for me, but when i took preparatory cxc maths classes i was able to pass maths from grade 6 to grade 2.

Its got to be more than that.The entire region ha poor math results this year.

Congratulations Orett. So proud of you. Remain purposeful while striving towards your future growth. You are well on your way. Keep up the fantastic work.

A hearty congratulations to young Miss Martin as well.

For the territory to forge full STEAM ( Science,Technology, Engineering Art and Mathematics) it must excel in mathematics. Math is unlike history, geography, social science, etc., It cannot be memorized; it requires understanding the rules, processes, etc. It requires practice, practice, practice. From experience, I use to try to memorize formulas vice learning how to manipulate formulas. It didn’t work. It is only after I learnt the rules and practice, practice, etc, I got better.

Moreover, we focus too much on the number of subjects. We need focus on a core set of subjects. Focusing on so many subjects is like a dog chasing a car and it catches up with the car. How many of a 20 subject pass, does the student actually used in the near term. It is a bragging right and not much more.

@Stealth , real talk. Many shy away from math because they don’t want to do work, ie, practice, practice, practice, etc, to get comfortable and confident. It requires much repetition, repetition. Math skills as other skills requires repetition to get better and better. The Department of Education can a) organize school Top of the Form Math competition,,b) Districts math competition, c) establish a math lab, d) partake in inter regional math competition, etc.

We must change the way we teach math , starting in primary school or earlier. Make it relatable and relevant to life and lived experiences , ie, money and finance, work,,business, entertainment and sport,, etc, instead of being some abstract concept. We must kill the idea that math is the province of smart folks, wiseacres,,wusbangs,,etc. Msth skills can be attained by anyone who grasps the concepts and does the work.

We must change the human building composition of these VI.

The major human imports which now comprise the major portion of the student population accompanied by their homegrown and trained teachers can only reflect the source. Poverty ,illiteracy and crime is the culture as far back as one can check.The BVI is now a replica of these rejected and cursed locations.

A done deal with the devil,self imposed and locally made.

But where are the creative subjects? It is creative doers and thinkers that the BVI urgently needs. The 50% of students that are creatively, rather than academically inclined, are being left by the wayside. And to that you can add the 15% who are gifted with dyslexia.

In my recent video I try to get the message across. https://youtu.be/JEN2bpSbwzI

Is this why graduates are relegated to

Is this why our graduates are relegated to subpar Colleges?

To the extent that Colleges to which they attend are not worthy of mention at the end of the school year except for the local Commumity College.

If any parent looks at how the government run schools teach math and have the teachers teaching mathematics, you would have a lot more to say and the low passing grade would not be a surprise. I hope this is not all talk and that they actually do something about how they changed the math classes to teach american style and not care about other approaches or if the children understand the topics. I pulled my child from government school when i saw how they were teaching mathematics. Even had teachers asking me to talk to other students since only my child understood a topic. Math basics are skipped over and no one knows their times tables. Good luck, i say. We are failing our children and our future

Times Tables – What is the role of Parents with this? This is one thing parents can reinforce at home. too many students do not know their tables.

we love to point our fingers at the UK / the GOVERNOR / the COMMISSIONER / OR CINDY OR WALWYN / THE SUBTERFUGE ON HIS YELLO SITE IS QUIET ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE

Respect the differences between people we are not asian math wiz but I am sure we have more creativity & linguistic potential despite the break from our multilingual heritage.

Of course we have a math problem in the BVIs. wWen teachers have 2 different answers for 1 equation, what do you expect? 100÷4(2+3)

At he end of the school year right up to the beginning of the new school year there was a flurry of ” beauty contests” traditional oand invented involving children of all ages,,At least a dozen of semi Halloween and clownlike parading in what they could ill afford after notpaying the landlord.

Not one mention or indication of college acceptances not even when the flurry of handouts en masse of school supplies for the new school year, to one and all took place island wide.

Who with good intention of the future for their offsprings would want to raise a family in place,dis place,

So such family remove themselves,these neighbors depart and the hoods remain, There goes the neighbor hood,the fabric of the BVI,leaving a threadbare caricature.

A society that struggles with math can exhibit several concerning symptoms across various sectors. Some of these include:

1. Economic Inefficiency: Poor financial literacy and numeracy can lead to individuals and businesses making suboptimal financial decisions. This can result in increased debt, poor savings habits, and inefficient resource allocation at both personal and national levels.

2. Widening Inequality: A lack of math skills often correlates with educational and job disparities, making it harder for individuals to access higher-paying jobs in fields like engineering, finance, and technology. This can lead to increased social and economic inequality.

3. Difficulty in Critical Thinking: Math fosters logical reasoning and problem-solving. A society with poor math skills may struggle with these forms of critical thinking, making it harder to assess data, understand risks, and make informed decisions in various aspects of life.

4. Technological Stagnation: Math is foundational to innovation in fields like science, engineering, and technology. A society with weak math skills may struggle to keep up with technological advancements, limiting its ability to compete globally.

5. Healthcare Issues: Numeracy is important for understanding medical risks, interpreting prescriptions, and navigating health data. A math-deficient society may struggle with health literacy, leading to poorer health outcomes and mismanagement of resources.

6. Misinformation Spread: People may have difficulty interpreting statistics, understanding probabilities, or questioning flawed data, making them more susceptible to believing misinformation or pseudoscience.

7. Poor Policy Decisions: Policymakers without a strong grasp of math may struggle to develop effective strategies, especially when it comes to budgeting, resource management, and responding to crises like economic recessions or pandemics.

8. Low STEM Engagement: A society struggling with math will likely see fewer students pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), leading to a shortage of skilled professionals in high-demand fields.

These symptoms can accumulate, leading to broader societal stagnation and an inability to respond effectively to complex challenges.

Mathematics is a language, like music. It takes time to learn and time to master, but provides a logical way of thinking. Since most of it involves finding solutions to sometimes abstract problems, it induces critical thinking. That said, the first step is to stop it with the lamentably popular thinking that maths is hard. You can say that about music too. Like music it requires practice and dedication. Name a single successful musician who doesn’t dedicate part of his life to practice. It’s called discipline. Practice and you improve, as you improve practice comes easier.

Step 2: we need to recognize that education should produce people that are literate (i.e. can read/write) and numerate (i.e understand fundamental maths). Without basic numeracy, how can we understand accounting and finance? How can we run a business let alone the Territory. Make this a priority

Step 3: Recruit the best and most enthusiastic maths teachers. Check Eddie Woo on YT for example. Pay them well. Start maths education early. There are many amazing on line tools to make maths easier to lean than old school pencil, paper and log books from when I went to school 50 years ago. Career paths include cybersecurity, which is never going away.

Do it now. It’s shameful that the pass rate should be so low. Make it a priority for say 75% pass rate for our future, or risk having the Territory run by people less than numerate. Is that who you want handling your tax dollars?

The real solution, is to look at the better performing schools, its teachers, and their methodologies- St George’s, and Creques, and implement, similar teaching styles, in the public school system!

There nothing wrong in admitting failure.

What’s wrong, however, is when the answer stares you in the face, instead of dismissing, due to prejudice, and non favor, EMBRACE!