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Jun 25, 2014

Education Ministers speak on errors in P.S.E. results

As we said earlier, twenty-five primary school students from across the country were honored at today’s national P.S.E. Award ceremonies in Belize City. And that included Jose Arciga from Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk. But Arciga was not initially included in the list of top performers issued by the Ministry of Education earlier this month. Arciga got three hundred and sixty-five of the four hundred points overall and it would have placed him at fifth place for the country. That query was lodged with the ministry and by today, it was rectified and Arciga was recognized for a job well done. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber says that although efforts have been made to reduce them, errors are not unusual.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“Every year we do have queries. I don’t want anybody to run away with the idea that this is not normal. In fact, if you look at the press release—the release that came along with the grades of the Primary School Exams, not only this year—it says preliminary. The reason why we say preliminary is because we give the time period for the grades to be queried. If people feel that there is a serious query that needs to be made, we accept those and that is why there is a time period as well between when the grades are announced and the award ceremony. So for instance the cut off point for those queries was last Friday. So we give an adequate time period for those queries to be made. Yes there were queries from Louisiana; I believe those queries have been addressed and that is a normal part of the process. There are some glitches that we had to take care of, but again this is normal; we expected that…we expect that in any cycle. And our pledge in our ministry of course, especially in the exams unit is for us to do better every year. So we are hoping that next year the kinds of issues that presented themselves this year might not be there again and that people can remain confident. They are pretty confident now that these exams are good quality exams and that the results are results that are reliable.”

 

Duane Moody

Patrick Faber

“In that particular instance could you tell us what happened there?”

 

Patrick Faber

“I am not the best person to get into the details. The query is made to the exams unit and I leave it up to them as we have competent people working there to solve these issues. We are notified when the changes are made and we’d have to of course give our blessings as the senior management; primarily the chief education officer. I am the last to know and know very little of the details except that the changes are being made under the prescribed time and the allotted time for these clarifications to be made.”

 

Faber also said that there has been marked improvement in terms of teacher education; however, the results are not where the ministry would like for the grades to be.

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