GRADE 10 students are performing below the national average in science, the Education Department announced yesterday.
It has begun to set up a committee to evaluate the impact of the Government’s project on science teaching and learning in secondary schools.
Education Secretary Michael Tapo said yesterday student achievement standards refer to cognitive achievements, hence, students acquisition of science knowledge and skills in the secondary schools was a major issue.
"The annual national Grade 10 examinations mean rating index (MRI) for science from 2008 to 2012 and which may be the same for 2013 and 2014, showed that students’ performances were below the normal ratings compared to students in other countries.
"The results provided have shown that a majority (66.75 percent) of students performed way below the national average".
The secretary announced the committee, saying it had started conducting monitoring and evaluation of the secondary school science equipment project in selected provinces and schools.
Information collected from each school will be reported to the Government for decision-makers to determine the impact of the project’s intended outcomes.
"There are continuing public concerns over the lack of science laboratories, equipment and materials to support the reformed science curriculum in the country."
He said differing views concerning the responsibility for building science laboratories, and supplying equipment were a burden on many schools. This continues to be a national issue challenging provincial governments at the administration level and planning to the support science education project.
"To address the issues, monitoring, evaluation and measurement of the impact of pieces of equipment to teacher learning and pupil learning is paramount" he said.
Mr Tapo said the project was being implemented over the past three years. Annually an average of K20 million was allocated to fund programs under the project.
"All students have a right to science literacy. Science and Mathematics skills co-exist and these assist a student to understand more as they advance to higher grades," he said.
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