By Aaron Humes: Two students – Kenly Young of St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School of San Ignacio and Angelina Urbina of La Inmaculada Roman Catholic in Orange Walk share the honor of 2016 Primary School Examination (PSE) top performer with 391 points each out of a possible 400.
A total 7,392 candidates registered for the PSE of which 7235 candidates actually sat all or part of the exam this year. This year, there were 27 private candidates.
As for overall results, things have improved slightly, but not much. Less than half – 48 percent – of students achieved a satisfactory grade C or better in English, with the mean score rising from 57.2 to 57.8 percent.
Mathematics continue to be a worry with a mean score of just 50.6 percent and only 35 percent with satisfactory scores, down from 37 percent. 51 percent of students scored in the inadequate or E band.
Social Studies’ mean mark climbed from 63.7 percent and more students scored competently and excellently with A and B scores.
In Science, the mark fell from 68 to 67 percent but students continue to score fairly well on average.
The Ministry of Education maintains that the exam is not intended to be the final arbiter of where students go on to attend high school, nor is it a stick to be broken over the backs of teachers and primary schools who do not perform well.
For remedies, the Ministry cites its Education Quality Improvement Project (EQIP) funded by an IDB loan of some BZ$20 million dollars. Beginning in August 2015 with an initial 25 demonstration primary schools, this project focuses on improving the teaching of English, Mathematics and Science in schools across the country.
According to the Ministry, quote, Over the next 4 years, the intent is to have trained teachers in 129 primary schools in more effective ways for the teaching of English, Math and Science. This project has been in the pipeline for some time now and is finally being implemented after an initial pilot of the approach in the teaching of Mathematics a few years ago.
The IDB has indicated further support for the remainder of primary schools after the 129 primary schools have benefited. End quote.
The remaining top 10 performers are as follows: 3rd place, Marcela Lozano, Bernice Yorke Institute; tied for 4th place, Hugo Lin of Belize Elementary and Ranai Gonzales of St. Andrew’s Anglican; tied for 6th place, Mihir Karnani and Terry Su of Belize Elementary, Erwin Arthurs of Bernice Yorke and Tsiyon Julien of Shepherd’s Academy, Belmopan; and tied for 10th place, Emily Quinto of Belize Elementary; Jiamei May Chen of Bernice Yorke; Darla Guerra of Pancotto Primary in Sandhill, Belize District, and Yasser Charaf of Mary Hill R.C. in Corozal.
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