SP Roman Catholic School has Top PSE Scores in San Pedro
Tanairi Arana places 6th countrywide in 2012 PSE - The Primary School Examination results are out and the students from San Pedro Town did an excellent job! The top scorers this year were Tanairi Aranda (95.5% - 382/400 points), Yasir Roberts (92% - 368/400 points) and Jerdon F. Anderson (91.75% - 3367/400 points), all three of San Pedro RC School.
San Pedro RC School made it to the top ten in the Belize National Primary School Examination PSE . SPRCS student, Taniari Arana placed 6th overall in the country and she also scored a perfect 100% in Mathematics and Science.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see results for each school in San Pedro, as well as the top ten places in the exam
Inside The PSE Results
Earlier this week we told you the 2012 results of Primary School Examinations. The grades have improved across-the-board, but to shed some light on whether this is a trend or what the statisticians call an outlier, we spoke to the woman who designs the exam, Yvonne Davis of the Examinations Unit.
She told us that this year's record breaking PSE results are a little bit of both.
Yvonne Davis - P.S.E. Examiner
"This year, the overall performance is at the C level, and I think that this is almost a record for us because this is saying that most students earned a C overall on the exam. We have seen almost a steady flow of incremental increase in English and Math. And those seemed - to me - to be the more steady subjects. But in Social Studies and Science, over the years, we've had a few spikes. This year, we have a huge spike in Science at 74.4%. This is the highest that we have ever achieved in any of the subjects. This is the first year that we have had performance at the B level in any of the subjects, and this is shown in the Science scores this year. So I am pretty sure that the children were very well-prepared this year for the Science exam. That may have been one of the major contributors to the spike that we see this year. We would like to see that in all of the other subject areas as well. There is evidence of text writing still. I remember the supervisors coming to me to say they're still getting a number of text language influencing the writing. What we need to say to the teachers and the students as they prepare for the national exam, these incomplete spelling of words, this counts against them in terms of how their papers are marked. If everybody is now abbreviating all of these sight words, we wouldn't know for sure whether they know to spell them correctly or to use them in the proper context. This year, we have had a few of the violent themes - not as many as we have seen in some recent years - but I know that some of these scripts were brought to me indicating violent themes. We have a number of very sad stories, students talking about their loneliness. I've seen one, but there is no - nothing stands out."
Carol Babb - Deputty Chief Education Officer
"I believe that the exam scores are up because of some of the interventions that we've put in place. We've been invested a lot - and I must emphasize - a lot in teacher training. Over the past 3 years, teachers who had an associate's degree in language arts, or in something other than teacher training, we were offering them a certified education program. We're taking a different approach to the way how we teach Math and Science. If you will recall - I don't know how your teacher taught you Science or Math, but a lot of things were taught in abstract. And so, we're doing a more hands-on approach. It will take a couple years for us to see marked improvement. And of course, education is everyone's business. It's not only the Ministry of Education's business."
Both women stressed that, although the ministry is trying to increase the quality of education in the country, the parents, teachers, and management must also do their part.
Minister Says All PSE Takers Have a High School Place Waiting That point was doubly underscored by education Minister Patrick Faber when we got into it with him today.
The hard truth is that while it was a good year, most of the seven thousand students who took this test have nothing to celebrate.
They performed poorly - which is mostly the fault of a system failing at every level.
We asked the Minister, why does that failing system insist on demoralizing 12, 13 and 14 year olds - by telling them that they are the ones failing? Here's what he said:
"However, you will agree that for a 12, 13 or 14 year-old, it thoroughly demoralizing to fail this exam that your entire education sylabus is based on. Why don't we just scrap the exam, stop fulling ourselves as adults, and stop demoralizing and penalizing for an education that has failed them?"
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
"Well because, Jules, we don't believe that this is the purpose of the exams. You're right that it is demoralizing to students, but there are some serious indicators that come out with the scores of the PSE. And that helps us to make sure that we understand what what is really happening in our education system. These test scores are serious indicators of the quality of education that is being provided in our country. We need to face that reality, and we need to do what is necessary to be done in order to improve the quality."
"Sir, I do not want to be glib or argumentative, but how about for an initial measure, we pay all the administrators, your chief education officer, your CEO - not yourself, you have a mandate - but all of them the percentage of their salary that is national mean score, which is about 58%. If we did that I bet you that the grades would go up."
Hon. Patrick Faber
"I don't think that they are doing anything wrong, Jules. I have -"
"But somebody be, the kids are the ones who get the message that you all are doing something wrong."
Hon. Patrick Faber
"I agree with you but the entire education system is not based on the Ministry of Education alone, and that is the big point that we've been trying to make. It's everybody's business to fix what is wrong with the education. So, you're going to do the same kind of thing who are not doing their part, and the business community who are not doing their part, and the church who are not doing their part, of the whole equation to make sure that education is fixed. Everybody needs to do their part."
We also discussed that other burning issue for standard six finishers. Seven thousand children took the PSE, so where will they go to high school? Here's what he said:
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
"There are sufficient spaces in this country for all 7,000 of those students. The problem that we've had is to make those connections, and again, we are relying on everybody to make sure that this can be possible. Maybe it's not possible in this year, but there are enough spaces. If you look, for instance, at Stann Creek and Toledo, last year, we saw - in Toledo, let's look at Toledo - 101% transfer, and every child who was in primary school went on to high school. If you look at the mere number of high schools that exists in this country, they number at 58. And if we take on average that they take in 100, although you will find that most of these schools take in well in excess of 100 students into their 1st form, despite the fact that there are some repeaters and so on. That accounts for 5,800 possible spaces on its own. If you look at the kinds of opportunities that can exists through the ITVET's, there are only 300 full-time trainees now, and the capacity of all ITVET's can go up to 1,200 or 1,300. Then, there are another 900 spaces. There is at least 1 adult program that caters to those who have dropped out, and who can even start high school equivalencies in all districts except Orange Walk; these can offer spaces again. Then, there are programs like the Magazine Road Program where of course there are spaces. The problem we've had is that we're not making the connection, as I've said before there are - for instance - more spaces in the Belize River Valley at rural high, but people will decide, 'I don't want my kids to go there. I prefer not to apply there. I want my kids to go to a Belize City high school. But I can assure you, Jules, if there is not 100% space for all of these people who finished the PSE, there is at least 85% to 90% space availability to look at it strictly as the number of spaces available for high school students in this country."