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Jun 5, 2017

P.S.E. Results Coming; Will Strike Have Impact?

Patrick Faber

Students have been anxiously awaiting the results of the 2017 Primary School Examination, sat in April and May of this year. According to the Examinations Unit of the Ministry of Education, that wait is almost over, as the results should be released sometime this week. Interestingly, the only man who knows what the results are tonight is Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who must give final approval before the information is sent out. More than seven thousand students sat both sections of the P.S.E., covering English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. As we reported in April, P.S.E. results have not been encouraging over the years.  English and Math scores have generally hovered around the low to mid-fifties, with Science and Social Studies scores only slightly higher. Often times, blame has been laid on teachers poorly preparing and communicating material to their students. In this school year, eleven days of teaching time were lost when the Belize National Teachers’ Union went on strike in October. At the time of the first round of tests, Faber told News Five he hoped that that will not turn out to be a factor if results are the same as before or regress.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education [File: April 3rd, 2017]

“As people are aware, the results over the last more than a decade have been not what we want them to be at all; and we keep on working at that, particularly as it relates to Math. Math continues to be a major challenge, and the Ministry, some years ago, initiated measures that would eventually see some movement in terms of the Math grades; we are hoping that this year will be a bit different in that those results will reflect positively in terms of the interventions that we have put in place, and we’re hoping that our students will perform well overall. Of course there are factors that we know exist and we’re hoping those factors will be minimal. And that includes, of course, the eleven days of strike that occurred in this school year. We are hoping that the children were able to put that away, basically, and that they were able to focus; we are hoping that parents as well as teachers were able to work with the standard six students to make sure that that number of days lost would not affect them in a tremendous way on these exams today and when they take the second part.”

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