A Study of the Factors that Contribute to the Performance Rate of Jamaican Students on the Grade Four Numeracy Test
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In Jamaica, Grade Four students are required to take a numeracy test to assess their mathematical abilities. The national averages in 2010 and 2011 were 38% and 46% respectively. These low average scores caused great concern with the Ministry of Education about the lack of numeracy among primary school students. This study examines the factors that contribute to the performance rate on the Grade Four Numeracy Test among students from public schools in Region Four. There is a focus on public schools in Region Four as the 2011 results showed that this region had the lowest mastery rate (42%) in the island. After receiving a list of the mastery rates for all six regions as well as for all the schools in Region Four, surveys, interviews and focus groups were done in order to acquire information on this test and mathematics education in Jamaica. The key findings of this study suggest that the teacher, parent and the Ministry can each play a key role in making sure that students are numerate. An increased number of qualified math teachers, better parental involvement and a sustained support system from the Ministry of Education may aid in improving the mastery rates on the test and essentially the level of numeracy among Grade Four students.