International Journal of Arts and Humanities

Viewing Options:  View Full Article - PDF     Download Full Article - PDF

Factors that contribute to low performance in numeracy in primary schools

Nelson Durisi

Corresponding Author:       Durisi N:      Received: 29/7/2022 | Accepted:  2/8/2022 |   Published: x//8/2022

Abstract: This paper presents discussion based on a research conducted on students’ low performance in numeracy in grade eight national examinations. Examination results in recent years showed that students generally perform lower in numeracy than in literacy and combined subjects. As stated by Eliakim, (2015) performance in mathematics has considerable room for improvement. The study explored the challenges faced by teachers and students in teaching and learning numeracy lessons in class. The introduction of Tuition Fee Free Education (TFFE) in 2012 could be one of the contributing factors for lower performance in numeracy because of the increased in primary students’ enrolment.  The increase in enrolment has resulted in overcrowding, shortage of learning materials and increased work stress on teachers. As stated by Earthman (2002) addressing the individual needs of students can be a challenge in bigger classes. Papua New Guinea primary school teachers face similar challenges and therefore such practice can affect the teaching of mathematics at the primary level of education. The mixed method was used in this research to explore how students are supported in their learning of mathematics in the primary level of their education. Questionnaires, interviews, lesson observation and focus group discussion were used to collect data. The purposive sampling was used to select the research site and the participants. This study found that there was an acute shortage of resource books for teachers and students as a result of high enrolment and distribution problems faced by the Curriculum and Development Division (CDD) Rena (2010).


Keywords: Overcrowding, numeracy performance, resource books, examination results, students’ population, teaching strategies