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#409257 - 06/04/11 10:01 AM PSE 2011 results  
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#409418 - 06/07/11 08:44 AM Re: PSE 2011 results [Re: Marty]  
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SPRCS' Alessandra Gutierrez scores 4th highest in the PSE
For students in primary school, the culmination of their 8-year studies is the Primary Selection Examination (PSE). The years of study and hard work are tested with the PSE, and often, students find that they must prepare months in advance to do well.

This year, the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) is proud to name one of its own as the top 4th scorer in the entire country of Belize. Alessandra Gutierrez, daughter of Amparo and Oscar Gutierrez, and Standard 6 student at SPRCS managed to score a total of 368 points out of 400, or 92%. This score puts Alessandra in fourth place countrywide. Holy Redeemer Primary School’s Aliyah Marin topped the exams with a score of three hundred and eighty five points (96.25%). Placing second overall this year is Josette McGann of United Evergreen Primary with three hundred and seventy six points (94%) and Jordan Murrillo of Belize Elementary with three hundred and sixty nine points (92.25%).
(L-R: Xanairi Xiu, Jacqueline Hernandez, Jamie Valentine and Alessandra Gutierrez)

Click here to read the rest of the article

#409419 - 06/07/11 08:45 AM Re: PSE 2011 results [Re: Marty]  
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Dalila Ical reporting…..

Aliyah Marin – Top National Performer
“I always thought about maybe top 25 or top 10, I never thought of first place.”

But of the 6,962 students who sat the PSE this year, Aliyah Marin topped the entire country. This is due largely to her preparation for the exams. However, while she and another twenty-four students are slated to be awarded for their excellent performance, the overall performance decreased from previous years.

Yvonne Davis – Principal Education Office, Examinations
“We have a five percentage point decrease overall in Science, 5.7% in Math and an 8% in English this year.”

And while an overall assessment of the results is yet to be concluded, this is not good news for the schools since the exams generally tests what students have learnt over the eight year curriculum.

Yvonne Davis – Principal Education Office, Examinations
“How are we doing in terms of what are putting out there, what is the level, the skills, the abilities that are coming out of the primary system. The PSE helps us to understand who is coming out of the system and at what level.”

What’s worse for some, the PSE results also serve as a form of completion for some students who end their academic education at the primary school level. There was a slight increase in Social Studies of about half of a percentage point from last year, but it may not be surprising as students have maintained a satisfactory trend in performance since 2004 when it was incorporated into the exams with only a slight dip in 2006. Another shift in this year’s results lie in the students’ performance in English and Math which contain two sections each – a multiple choice section in both papers and a narrative section for English and problem solving for math.

Yvonne Davis – Principal Education Office, Examinations
“Ordinarily the paper one is the better performing paper. Normally it is the paper two that has the challenge. This year I notice that the paper one had more challenge or a greater challenge for the students than the paper two. For Math the same thing occurred, they had a more difficult time with the Math paper one which is a multiple choice paper than the paper two the paper two for math actually went up by about a percentage point.”

Whether this is reflective of the schools placing an emphasis on problem solving and writing has not yet been ascertained.

Yvonne Davis – Principal Education Office, Examinations
“It’s difficult to tell but one thing I can say is that the schools are very much aware of the concepts and the skills, the level of the problem solving on that paper and there must have been quite a bit of work to try to improve that paper because that has always proven to be the most challenging of all the papers on the test so that is quite possible indeed.”

What is certain though is that despite this year’s fluctuation in the performance, schools work closely with students, like at Holy Redeemer where 122 students sat the exam.

Molly Hewlett – Principal, Holy Redeemer Primary School
“We put a lot of work into it a lot of emphasis, we try different strategies in all subject areas The work pays off for many, yet teachers always find that there is always room for improvement, especially this year.

Dalila Ical – Reporter
Are you satisfied with the outcome?

Ian Cob – Math Teacher, Belize Elementary Primary School
“Not as much as I would want it. I expect some of the grades I got. I don’t know how was the grading system or if it was difficult this year. I expected better grades.”

And while teachers will refocus on getting those better grades for next year, students who sat the exams this year, even those who topped the entire country can only reflect on their performance.

Aliyah Marin – Top National Performer
“Most of them were fairly challenging but the most challenging was the science. I prepared myself very well, I think that was the most I studied for science.”

Dalila Ical - Reporter
For most students math is the hardest, how did you find that one?

Aliyah Marin – Top National Performer Math
"I prepared very hard for that one, I did excellent on my Math. I am very proud of myself.”

Jordan Murillo
“The English story writing was most difficult for me because then you don’t need to know anything you just have to write a story and come up with ideas for the story.”

Felix Wu – Tenth on national performance
"Yes, Social because I am not from Belize."

The work, however is not the teachers’ or the students’ alone. Principal at Holy Redeemer, Molly Hulett says parental support is vital.

Molly Hulett – Principal, Holy Redeemer

“Be a part of your child’s life that is very important, and that is the success that Aaliyah has shown because her parents were very dedicated. A whole school approach, that is parents, teachers, children.”

In performance by district, Orange Walk is leading in the overall mean performance and has been leading for several years now. This year it is followed closely by the Corozal, Cayo, Belize, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts.


PSE, A Look Inside

On Friday we told you about the results of the PSE. Tonight, as is customary, we'll speak with some of the top finishers and the principal of the top school.

That top finisher is Aliyah Marin at Holy Redeemer. The Lake I resident told us she was at home on Friday night when her father called her with urgent news:…

Aliyah Marin 1st in PSE
"Well I was at home watching the TV, I wasn't really watching the news as such then my dad call on the phone and he told me to turn on the TV hurry because you top the CXCs, - like dad no its the PSE's dad. By the time I turn on the TV it was already off so I stayed up like 10 in the night to watch the news - that's how I got, everybody else was just calling me."

Jules Vasuez
"Now is this something you expected?"

Aliyah Marin
"No, I didn't really expect first place at all, maybe in the top 10 or the top 25 but not the first place."

Jordan Murillo, 3rd in PSE
"I was very excited."

"Did it came as a surprise to you?"

Jordan Murillo, 3rd in PSE
"Yes, because I thought I did well but I didn't expect to come in 3rd in the country."

Luani Fabro, Tied for Seventh in PSE
"We were going to the hospital to visit my mom and my uncle saw it and they were crowding around the television to see it and that's when he told me."

Jules Vasquez
"Were you surprise?"

Luani Fabro, Tied for Seventh in PSE
"At first I thought he was just messing with me. I was very surprise to find out."

Jordan Murillo, 3rd in PSE
"You just have to prepare well and you have to know the material like in Math, Science, English and Social."

Aliyah Marin 1st in PSE
"Evening classes I go to; Mr. Acevedo, Mrs. Palacio and Mr. Magana. I would like to tell them thanks. I go to Saturday's evening classes, morning classes, a lot of classes and I also put in my hard work as well."

Luani Fabro, Tied for Seventh in PSE
"I put in my hard work and I studied really hard for it."

Jules Vasquez
"You did the extra classes and everything?"

Luani Fabro, Tied for Seventh in PSE
"I took extra classes, morning classes, Saturday classes..."

Lourdes Alamina, Std. 6 teacher - Holy Redeemer
"Both of them are excellent students. They work hard, Aliyah - I think she works from she wake up till she goes to sleep at night. Luani - she tries, she works hard in spite of the difficulty she is going through right now. She shows that she can do it and they really work hard. They put their mind to whatever it is they are doing."

Aliyah Marin 1st in PSE
"I feel privilege to be that top student but not for on the country but for Holy Redeemer because it's been a while since we place first so I am happy that I am the student that let them come on top again."

Lourdes Alamina, Std. 6 teacher - Holy Redeemer
"A lot of people like to think that's it only standard 6 but it's not only standard 6; it's from all the way back in infants, once they get a good foundation, they have to keep working hard for it and we need the help of the parents, we need the help of everybody - the children - the teachers and everybody is included in this good grades that we have gotten so far."

Lourdes Alamina, Std. 6 teacher - Holy Redeemer
"Once the child is smart the teacher just has to guide that child towards getting a good grade and it doesn't matter where they come from. A child like Aliyah could have been in any school - she could have top and Luani the same. It doesn't matter; you just have to put them and push them and make sure they are serious about their work."

And a minor correction to the list we presented on Friday. Adrian A. Armstrong, not "Adriana Armstrong" of Louisiana Government School was tied for fourth.

And while the top finishers are always the best and the brightest, the true test of excellence is for the top performing school. For the second year in a row it is the Bernice Yorke Institute in Belize City. That's school's 14 students did the best as a group and today their Principal told us there's no secret other than hard work:

Sherry Ali, Principal - Bernice Yorke
"We see PSE and exam taking begin in pre-school. We believe in early childhood education and we try to push early childhood education and we ensure that before students are move from one level to another that they are prepared - they have mastered certain skills especially in math and language. so when they come to the upper divisions they don't have to struggle - it's not a struggle for them at the upper division or the middle division. They continuously do well because we demand excellence."

Jules Vasquez
"Were you surprise at the results?"

Sherry Ali, Principal - Bernice Yorke
"No, I expected them to do well. There is no magic formula you know - it's simply always demanding excellence and ensuring before a child can move from one level to another level that they are prepared. I think that is the most important consideration. You can teach and have a school anywhere as long as the quality of education remains the same then I think excellence is what you'll achieve."

Rounding out the top three schools, they are all private. Hummingbird Elementary and Belize Elementary tied for second. And while the occasion of the PSE results area great time to honour excellence, the truth is, for most students, there's nothing much to celebrate.

With the average grade in math in the 40's, and English just over 50 - most students are not passing these critical major subjects.

And in the 12 year of administering this exam - the national average in math and English has only gone over 60 once - and there's no trend indicating sustained improvement. In fact, the scores fluctuate, up one year, right back down the other. Today in an interview with the head of the examination section, Jules Vasquez proposed that with this record of failure - which only affects the children who have to live with the bad grade - why not just scrap the exam altogether? Here's how that exchange went:…

Jules Vasquez
"All this does is making a student feel awful. Our teachers and administrators don't feel any way, they continue on their own way. Scrap this exam - this is helping no one. They are learning nothing - they are not improving. Scrap it and let's try to fix something and then we try it again in 10 years."

Yvonne Davis - Education Officer for Exam
"I totally disagree with your point of view and your description because this is not what this dada is saying. What this data is saying is that we have a problem and it needs to be fixed. It is not saying that it is sanctioning anyone whether they are students or teachers - it is saying to us we have a severe problem that needs to be address and that's what we need to do. I agree that each time you look at the results and you see 47 0r a 45 - it's very dismal and discouraging. Perhaps a review of the exam and looking at the level of the exam would be a good thing to do and to see if maybe what is going on in primary at the curriculum level - maybe we are not reaching the curriculum level that we should be reaching in the system and so its time - we have enough information, the data speaks to us every year that we have a problem in math and now it is time. The debate has to continue and actions need to be taken."

"The Ministry of Education in the release has announced that there will be an intervention to help the teachers to improve and increase their capacity in the teaching of mathematics. So I think that is another step that the Ministry is taking to help make some improvement here."

"I believe the interventions if they are well utilized by the recipients and I mean the teachers and the students who will be involve in these interventions. I believe if they are applied well - I am sure that we could see some improvement - maybe a little spike in the performance next year."

"I call on the managements to do a whole lot more in their schools to ensure that teaching occurs and not only teaching - but the teachers are equip with capacity to deliver the curriculum in these areas that are weak. I really want to call on the managers to do a whole lot more. The Ministry of Education in itself cannot completely answer all the questions and solve all the problems. We need everyone who have a steak in education to play a role."

We are aware that we missed plenty of kids who excelled in the top ten - and for all their fans - we promise to try and speak to them when the PSE awards are held….

Channel 7

#409420 - 06/07/11 08:47 AM Re: PSE 2011 results [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
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Primary School Examination top students say how they did it

Now for the good news, the PSE results 2011 were released late on Friday evening. We told you who the top scorers are; they comprise a mix bag from the Belize, Cayo, Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Interestingly the public schools performed better than the private schools and English and Math remain areas of concern. That said, over at the Holy Redeemer Primary School the mood was celebratory today. One of theirs aced the exam and a number of other students placed in the top twenty-five. News Five’s Andrea Polanco caught up today with Aliyah Marin and other top performers.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Twelve year old Aliyah Marin is the top student in this year’s P.S.E which was sat by over six thousand primary school students country-wide. While she is recognized as Holy Redeemer’s star pupil, she didn’t expect the top score:

Aliyah Marin: Top P.S.E Student

Aliyah Marin

“Not at all, I’ve always known I was a bright child but I never really expected first place especially since this is a nationwide exam.”

Molly Hulett, Principal Holy Redeemer

“I was looking out for Aliyah from since she started school from in fact one she has shown that she is an over achiever. We had to skip her from standard one to standard three because of her performance and she answered that call. In standard four and five she came in first in her class so we were expecting her good result.”

Molly Hulett

Andrea Polanco

“So any celebrations for having the top student this year?”

Molly Hullet

“We are celebrating already; we’re celebrating already because overall the results are very good.”

For other top performing students, the feeling of success is one of pure joy:

Luani Fabro, 9th Place

Luani Fabro

“I’m feeling very proud and accomplished.”

Jordan Murillo: 3rd Place

“Excited and happy.”

Kate Ramirez

Kate Ramirez: 5th Place

“Well I’m feeling really happy because this is what we‘ve been working for, we worked really hard to get here and knowing that the school came in first is really a great accomplishment for all of us.”

Xiao Jia Yi: 22nd Place

“I still can’t believe it right now, umm I feel very excited I still can’t believe it.”

Deanna Nisbet: Principal, Belize Elementary School

Deanna Nisbet

“I think its hard work on the part of the students the teachers and the parents. I must admit that we go overboard in preparing them. We do an overall curriculum and parents are also involved and the children do their hard work. Umm I think that that’s the basic element that makes us good.”

Like Aliyah Marin, for the other students it also took hard work to get into the top twenty five:

Aliyah Marin: Top P.S.E Student

“Well first of all I would like to thank God because without him I wouldn’t be here today. I would like to thank my mom because she pushed me a hundred and ten percent everyday all the time from I was a little girl. I also came to Saturday classes here at school I went to Easter classes here at school I went to evening classes here at school and I also went to morning classes at school with Mr. Acevedo, Mr. Magana and Ms. Palacio and I also went to Christmas classes there as well.”

Andrea Polanco

“So tell me how did you prepare for this exam?”

Kate Ramirez: 5th Place

“Well as usual you know, studying, preparing hard, going through your notes, reviewing your past exams.”

Eric Chang

Eric Chang: 13th Place

“I went to Acevedo classes; I just really had to listen during class and just add in some time.”

Elodia Ochaeta: 17th Place

“It was very difficult; umm well I studied most of my time after finishing my homework well I had enough time to study. My parents were very attentive with me and they were helping me study as well.”

Sherry Ali, Principal Bernice York

Sherry Ali

“Well at Bernice York we had fourteen students taking the test and out of fourteen we had ten students getting an A and four students getting a B which we’re extremely proud of.”

But when they sat the P.S.E a few weeks back, some of the top students had mix feelings about some of the subjects and their scores:

Jordan Murillo

Jordan Murillo: 3rd Place

“The English writing, the narrative writing was the hardest subject for me.”

Andrea Polanco

“But you still managed three hundred and sixty nine points out of a total of four hundred did you expect this?”

Jordan Murillo

“Not really.”

Luani Fabro:

“For me it would be English.”

Andrea Polanco

“What about Math, for most students it is a problem for them.”

Luani Fabro:

“Well I find Math to be easy for me, I understand it fully.”

Andrea Polanco

“So what was the easiest subject for you in the P.S.E?”

Wu Gin Yuan

Wu Gin Yuan


Andrea Polanco

“Math, wow that’s one of the subjects most students have a problem with. How was it easy it for you?”

Wu Gin Yuan

“Because in Taiwan there is a lot of math work and it’s pretty advanced.”

Aliyah Marin: Top P.S.E Student

“All were fairly challenging but most of all I found the science challenging although I prepared myself the best for that one.”

Molly Hulett, Principal, Holy Redeemer

“We did a lot of Excellent; I think it’s about forty I haven’t finished because I’ve been very busy I’m not in office but almost forty Excellent, inadequate I counted only about nine out of one hundred twenty two.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

We’ll have the Ministry of Education’s view on the overall results later in the newscast.

#409422 - 06/07/11 08:48 AM Re: PSE 2011 results [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
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Analyzing the PSE scores; why grades dropped for so many

Earlier you met this year’s top PSE students; most of them from public schools. And as we said, the results in English and Math were not encouraging. Last year, the mean performance in English was at sixty-three point five percent and this year it dropped to the C level at fifty-four point nine percent. In respect of the math exams, performance has always been inadequate, below the fifty percent mark. But in the area of Social Studies since 2004, the trend has been steady at a satisfactory level which is sixty percent and above. News Five’s Andrea Polanco looks at the statistics with the Ministry of Education.

Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer, National Exams

Yvonne Davis

“It is one of those years similar to some of those years we have experienced where we see umm a drop in English and Math and in Science. So it is similar to what we have seen before umm I don’t know if there is or there needs to be a kind of debate that talks about how do we try to maintain a certain level of performance within the system. We might need to begin to do that and again we might need to review some of the interventions that we have in place in the school system and some of them may not be working as effectively as we might want them to work or maybe there is a lack in some areas as it relates to the academic performance of the students.”

While private schools are always top performers over all, the public schools did remarkably well this year, which Davis says isn’t surprising:

Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer, National Exams

“The top performers come from across the country and from various schools which is an indication to us that the curriculum is taught in private schools as well as public schools so the competition is straight across the board. So whoever goes to a private school and whoever goes to a public school has the same chance of coming up on top because it is the same curriculum everybody uses in this country, So we are not very surprised that this has happened.”

For principals of some of the top performing schools in the city, there is a combination of efforts that contribute to their success.

Sherry Ali, Principal Bernice York

Sherry Ali

“Well it’s just a validation for us knowing that we have worked so far to achieve this goal. Umm with us education is continuous it starts way, way down—we see education not only happening in the upper division and getting ready for high school. We take education from way down in preschool and we ensure that all levels the students meet the standards and the criteria before they’re promoted and because of that we feel that is why they perform well at the P.S.E level.”

Molly Hulett, Principal Holy Redeemer

“Ok every year what we do we self evaluate, we look at our weak areas and we build on that.”

Deanne Nisbet

Deanne Nisbet, Principal Belize Elementary Schol

“I think also that umm in this day and age, I think that we need to listen to our children, we need to take time for our children. We know that parents are very much involved in work but we need to take time to pay attention to their needs as small as they may be and I think that that’s what leads to our success.”

But while those schools boast top students with good grades, there are some three thousand eight hundred and sixty five students who obtained E in Math, but Davis says there are a number of variables that account for the low scores.

Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer, National Exams

“The numbers tell us doesn’t necessarily tell us the story, we use the numbers to produce the story. For instance there are many studies that tell about the fear of math and that has been that’s a world wide a universal topic the fear of math and there are numerous studies that is better in math girls or boys, there are studies about the whole issue mathematics to boys and girls. So there are many variables as it relates to exam there is also the anxiety factor that comes into play. If you already have a fear for math and you are taking a high stakes exam so that only compounds your anxiety and that could cause an effect in your performance as well.”

While there is a dip in the math and English scores, the schools in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts remain in the bottom with a history of low performance:

Yvonne Davis

“Again, a number of variables, a number of factors come into play—those I will not be able to pinpoint. Certainly there is the issue of first language. I know there is a whole area in one of the district where a number of the schools are predominantly children from Central America so they come in with their first language not being what we are used to in teaching—the English language. And so we have that barrier. There are other variables. I believe some reports have shown that these are the poorer districts in the country and some researchers believe there is a link between performance and socio-economics.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Overall, in order of performance, the best results were from Bernice Yorke, Belize Elementary tied with Hummingbird Elementary, Shepherds Academy in Belmopan and Mary Hill in Corozal.

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