Ed department defends decline in results

| 13/05/2017 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Despite the declines in the overall performance of students in the last academic year, education officials say statistics continue to show a positive trend over time, with increases in some core subject areas. At the high school level, there has been a massive improvement in science since 2014, when just 17.8% of students passed that subject, to 2016 when it increased significantly to more than 55%.

CNS accepts that an error was made when it reported on the information as a result of our own internal mix-up regarding when these figures were first published. We do not dispute the Department of Education Services’ claims that the document has been publicly available for several weeks, though we have been unable to establish how widely accessible the report has been.

Responding to CNS enquiries about the results, the education department stated that the report identifies improvements in student performance at the primary level but accepted that they are not yet meeting their Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) predictors in the areas of English and mathematics. Officials also said that Year 11 students are not yet meeting their CAT predictors, though they are being met by the end of Year 12, which is the end of secondary education.

The education department also stated that the poor performance in mathematics had  been seen throughout the Caribbean region in 2016. According to the Caribbean Examinations Council, there was a 13-point decline in performance in mathematics, with 44% of entries achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 57% in 2015.

Local education officials said that with the development of an annual Plan of Action, the Ministry of Education and Department of Education Services are prioritising continued improvement in student outcomes.  They said they will be analysing examination results, including supporting documentation from examination boards identifying areas for improvement. Action plans are also being developed and implemented by schools as next steps using this information.

The education department said it continues to identify and address barriers to student learning and is focusing on the early identification of gaps in student learning to close those gaps and build capacity at all levels of the system.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Are there counselors in school? Are there motivators? The children don’t actually care because the majority of the parents don’t know or don’t care to have an interest.

    There is a problem with mental inability due to mental disorders and full fledged mental disabilities and the social ills of poor parenting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “At the high school level, there has been a massive improvement in science since 2014, when just 17.8% of students passed that subject, to 2016 when it increased significantly to more than 55%.”

    It offends me to read the dismal history of education in the Cayman Islands. The Ministers of Education that in the last 20 years allowed Education in the Cayman Islands reach this level of dysfunction and then tell voters they need to be reelected leave me speechless.

    I would suggest that they ought to be ashamed of themselves but I do not believe they have that level of integrity.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ahh, here we go defending the various shades of terrible…if this were a regional affliction, surely following that logic our private schools would be similarly failing. They aren’t. No Caribbean nation spends as much per public student than the Cayman Islands, so it’s not a money thing either. Our students either aren’t arriving ready to learn, or aren’t being taught. I think it’s likely more of the former that we need to focus on: student mindset, neglectful parenting, and troubled home lives.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kids too busy playing those computer games.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “The education department said it continues to identify an address barriers to student learning”. That is almost laughable – if it weren’t so concerning!. The biggest barrier to student learning is the constant politicizing of our education system. Every successive Government sees fit to dismantle what their predecessors did and start over. How can we as a country ever progress like that and how can our childrens’ educational future ever improve??!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I doubt that the Department of Education “defends decline in results”. Rather I could imagine that they acknowledged that throughout the Caribbean there was a decline and that Cayman faired much better than any other Caribbean nation. Also, your comment that “though we have been unable to establish how widely accessible the report has been” and though I am a huge critic when it comes to DES, when they put the information on their website how much more do you want them to do to make it accessible?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did they offer HSB in 2014? Just curious as it might account for the higher science scores.

  8. Veritas says:

    With a pass rate of 1 in 6 which was abysmal it idid not need rocket science to increase the pass rate to 1 in 2 which is still nothing to shout about when looking at minimal pass grades.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The defense is easy. One word.

  10. Arnold Victorious says:

    In other words, far too many kids are still coming to school to fool around, to be entertained, and to be babysat by teachers, who far too often are required to double as clowns (lest the students get bored by such things as math or science), nurses, medics, psychiatrists, psychologists, police officers, parents, and really any role under the sun that one can imagine. The only thing teachers haven’t been asked yet to do is do the learning for the students, but no worries, that too will soon come.

    They can put in all kinds of plans in place til they turn blue in their faces…NOTHING will improve until EVERY child is expected to show up to school neatly dressed, rested, fed, ready to learn, and ready to be respectful. It only takes 1 child per class to meaningfully disrupt the learning of the entire class. In many cases, where 3, 4, or 5 delinquents are in each class (numbers are usually higher) little to no learning takes place. Time to stream kids again, as early as Year 3. If some children fall in a stream that parents aren’t happy about, it’s good incentive for them to do well and work their way up to the stream that they wish to be in.

    These are tough actions to take, which politicians are unwilling to do. They would rather tell you every 4 years that they’ll reduce gun imports by 60%, or that education scores will increase by 95% if they’re voted in. Same old nonsense. If I were you, I would vote every single one of the past politicians out of office. Start off with a clean slate. Probably won’t make much of a difference, but at the very least you can’t say that you did not try.

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