Steps are being taken to solve the problem of Mathematics education in the Caribbean region. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently hosted a two-day workshop in Barbados for Mathematics education stakeholders across the Caribbean. 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, attendees identified reasons for the poor performance in Mathematics throughout the region.
Deputy Chief Education Officer (Instruction) Ruffina Charles said 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 the 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 developing 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.