Sandals seminars credited for boosting math scores

OFFICIALS have observed in some cases a more than 10 per cent improvement in math scores among students attending the second largest school system in the Bahamas.

A series of mathematics workshops and seminars sponsored by the Sandals Foundation for more than 140 Bahamian teachers has been credited for this success.

The Sandals Foundation is continuing its sponsorship of the programme this upcoming school year after beginning a partnership with the Catholic Board of Education (CBOE) at the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year.

This partnership facilitated the hosting of three mathematics workshops, held in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco.

All were conducted under the expert tutelage of Dr Marcella Elliot, assistant professor, Mathematics Education, the College of the Bahamas.

More than 140 generalist and specialist teachers participated in these seminars. These initial workshops were followed by smaller sessions throughout the academic year that catered to all teachers responsible for the teaching of mathematics in Bahamian Catholic Primary Schools.

The series of workshops and seminars yielded some impressive results during the 2011 -2012 academic year.

An analysis of the results of the Archdiocesan Mathematics Examinations showed improvements in all primary schools within the system.

Officials observed an improvement of 11.4 per cent in students between grades K-3 and an increase of 5.7 per cent amongst students in grades 4-6.

Because of the impressive results, the Sandals Foundation has continued its sponsorship and support of the programme for the 2012 – 2013 academic year.

The training affects more than 100 teachers in New Providence, 50 in Grand Bahama and 25 in Abaco. These teachers affect more than 2,000 students – a little more than five per cent of the school-going population of the entire country.

The teachers gathered at Sandals Royal Bahamian last week for their first session.

Addressing the teachers, hotel general manager Patrick Drake congratulated the teachers on their success last year. He pointed out that because the standards of what constitutes a basic education are constantly changing, it is imperative for corporate Bahamas to support both education and educators.

“Back in the day the most basic entry level position in the hospitality industry used to be a pot washer. Today we are putting that same pot washer behind a $50,000 piece of equipment and asking him on a daily basis to measure fluids in the right proportion to maintain our high sanitation standards. You have the most difficult and important to job in our society because our community benefits from the work you do in the classroom,” he said.

Director of Catholic Education Claudette Rolle said the Foundation’s sponsorship was not only worthwhile for the Catholic Board of Education, but also beneficial to the country as a whole.


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