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Francis Fonseca: “Our education system is deeply flawed and continues to fail our students”

Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018. 3:57 pm CST.

BBN Staff: This year’s results of the Primary School Examinations (PSE) are out and paint a very dismal picture of the education system.

BBN notes that for this year there were 7,080 registered participants who sat the exam of which 3,512 were males and 3,568 females.

We note that for the English exams only 4 percent of students received an A countrywide while a whopping 33 percent scored an E. On average students scored 55.5 percent on English which is a reduction from the 57.9 percent last year.

In Mathematics, 12 percent of students received an A while 49 percent received an E. When compared to last year there was an increase in average score from 51.9 percent to now 52.6 percent.

In Social Studies, students performed fairly countrywide but there was a decrease in the average from 68.1 percent in 2017 to now 62.0 percent in 2018.

And finally in Science, there was some good news. There was an increase in the national average from 58 percent in 2017 to 60 percent in  2018. Half of the students scored about 64  percent during the examination.

The former leader of the People’s United Party and former Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca, has taken to social media to express his lack of excitement with this year’s PSE results.

“PSE results confirm what we all know. Our education system is deeply flawed and continues to fail our students. This is not the fault of any particular administration. As a former Minister of Education I know only too well that we are all responsible for the state of education in Belize,” he said.

He added, “The system requires a bold, creative overhaul. We need urgent new initiatives and investments in curriculum review, teacher training, early childhood education, special education, and vocational training. Music, Arts, Culture, Sports all must be meaningfully funded and take their rightful place as integral components of a well-rounded education. Our education system must fully embrace technology and use it to more effectively and efficiently deliver education to our people particularly those in our most remote communities and most disadvantaged.”

According to the Freetown Area Representative, while we celebrate the success of the top performing students and schools we must, “…reflect on the fact that of the 7080 students who sat the PSE this year some 5000 of them got scores of C or less in all four subjects.”

He added that the results for Math and English, “was even more troubling.”

“Furthermore some 1000 to 1500 of these students are likely NOT to continue on to high school given historical trends,” he informed.

He closed by remarking that in order to fix Belize we need to fix education.

“If we don’t all come together with a sense of urgency to create an education system that works for all Belizeans then we will never be able to create a Belize that works for all,” said the former Education Minister.


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