WHAT THE NUMBERS MEAN: Can the blame for Jamaica’s 14.3 percent decline in CXC Mathematics passes this year be placed squarely on the mass exodus of qualified teachers in recent times? “It is estimated that 111 fully qualified teachers left the system in 2015. It is believed that many took up teaching opportunities overseas. Undoubtedly, this would have affected the preparation of a significant number of students,” Education minister Ruel Reid has said in response. “This loss would have had a significant impact on the ability of schools to maintain the standards of teaching and learning which would have been established particularly over the past four years.” Thankfully, there’s some good news: the education ministry is set to develop the Mathematics, Science and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teacher initiative to increase the number of fully qualified maths teachers.