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May 2, 2017

P.S.E. Day 2: Students Tackle Problem-Solving

Seven thousand, one hundred and forty-three hopefuls sat part two of the Primary School Examination countrywide today. As hard as they studied, as thorough as their preparations were, there is nothing quite like facing the Math Paper Two or problem-solving section of the examination. Certainly there were no complaints about the multiple-choice Paper One or the all multiple-choice Social Studies paper. With mathematics consistently lowest rated for all P.S.E. exams since its 1999 establishment, due in large part to the low passes in the Math Paper Two, the chief examination official explained why it is still important, as Aaron Humes reports.

 

David Maheia

Reporter

“What was the most challenging part of it for you?”

 

David Maheia, Standard Six Student, Horizon Academy

“Definitely Math Paper Two.”

 

Reporter

“The problem-solving; I always hear that’s a tough one. Any particular part of it you found troubling?”

 

David Maheia

“All of it. (Laughs)”

 

Johnny Brad Neal

Reporter

“What about you?”

 

Johnny Brad Neal, Standard Six Student, Horizon Academy

“The problem-solving, Math Paper Two.”

 

Dustin Lewis, Standard Six Student, Queen’s Square Anglican

“Sir, I think the most difficult part, sir, was the Math Two.”

 

Dustin Lewis

Reporter

“The problem-solving?”

 

Dustin Lewis

“Yes, sir.”

 

Ayana Flowers, Standard Six Student, St. John’s Vianney R.C.

“Yes, sir, the Math Two was a little difficult.”

 

Alexander Peters, Standard Six Student, St. John’s Vianney R.C.

“Same, same.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

If these four boys, one girl, and their seven thousand, one hundred and thirty-eight colleagues had their way, the Mathematics portion of the Primary School Examination would be limited to multiple-choice. Certainly there have been more complaints about Math Paper Two than any of the other papers bar the English Narrative Paper. But according to director of the Examinations Unit Nelson Longsworth, problem-solving is a critical skill that will stand them in good stead for their future lives.

 

Nelson Longsworth

Nelson Longsworth, Director, Examinations Unit, Ministry of Education

“The two papers for the Math, one is a fifty multiple-choice question paper and the second, Paper Two, which we call the problem-solving, that would comprise of ten structured answer questions.  Our test is derived directly from the curriculum. And even so – because of the Table of Specifications, which the teachers have copies of, it describes especially for the problem-solving paper, exactly which type of questions would be asked; a teacher could literally list what type of questions would be coming on the Paper Two which is the problem-solving paper.”

 

Reporter

“Of course, the student still has to prepare and that is often the difference between…”

 

Nelson Longsworth

“The general nature of Math is that you can’t memorize it; so there has to be a high level of thinking, problem-solving that has to be applied; so no one question is exactly the same as another. You can prepare and practice for increasing your proficiency, but at the end of the day you have to sit down and determine what solution you will apply, and do so accurately. That, a child needs to develop over the eight years being in primary school; it’s nothing you get ready for in the end of Standard Six.”

 

While the adults will have their way, at least the ordeal is over for those attending the thirty-one examination centers countrywide. Marking will begin soon and results will be available by the first week of June. And Dustin, Ayana and Alexander are looking forward to the goodies they will receive from their families for a good grade.

 

Reporter

“Unu parents promise anything if unu pass well?”

 

Alexander Peters

Alexander Peters

“Yes, sir.”

 

Reporter

“You wah she whe deh promise yu?”

 

Alexander Peters

“A new phone.”

 

Reporter

“Or that’s what you want? A new phone? (Alexander nods head)”

 

Ayana Flowers

Ayana Flowers

“A surprise.”

 

Reporter

“So they said they will surprise you? (Ayana nods head)”

 

Dustin Lewis

“A new phone, sir.”

 

Congratulations to the exam-takers, and best of luck! Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The reduced figure of exam takers from seven thousand, two hundred and seventy-one is due to various illnesses and other explained absences. As stated, results will be available by the first week of June though the Ministry is aiming for a little earlier to help high schools make their choices for September.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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