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Mar 19, 2018

First Day of the P.S.E. Went Well, Students Say

According to the Ministry of Education, some seven thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine Standard Six students sat the first day of the Primary School Examination in English and Science across the country today, down slightly from last year’s figures. There were slightly more females than males at three thousand, six hundred and thirty-three to three thousand, five hundred and sixty-six. The English and Science papers, in our experience, tend to be easier for candidates to tackle. News Five’s Aaron Humes reports that that’s probably why there were smiles on the faces of those we got to speak to at one examination center in Belize City this afternoon.

 

John Newport

John Newport, QUADS Director, Ministry of Education

“The children today are doing fifty multiple-choice questions for English; they will be doing the writing paper for English, and then fifty multiple choice questions for Science. Having talked to Mr. [Nelson] Longsworth, who is the head of Examinations, I’m confident that this year we have a very valid and reliable exam, which means that a lot of work has been done to make sure the questions are of the highest possible quality, they’re fully in line with the curriculum, so it’s a really good way to measure how children are doing.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

And how did the children do? We’ll let some of them tell you.

 

Aaron Humes

“Anything you found particularly difficult?”

 

Maximus Scott, St. John Vianney

“Only the Science.”

 

Maximus Scott

Aaron Humes

“And how did you prepare for the exam?”

 

Maximus Scott

“Study.”

 

Aaron Humes

“What did you study though?”

 

Maximus Scott

“Science and English.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So you’re looking forward to the Math and Social Studies? How are you going to prepare for that?”

 

Maximus Scott

“Just study the Math and [Social Studies] and work harder.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So how did you find this first part of the exam?”

 

Brooklyn Banner

Brooklyn Banner, St. John Vianney

“Very easy.”

 

Aaron Humes

“Nothing difficult at all? Nothing? (Brooklyn shakes head) But I know the next part usually difficult, which is the math and so. So how did you prepare?”

 

Brooklyn Banner

“Study the whole weekend.”

 

Aaron Humes

“Whole weekend? What about before that? Did you get any classes at school and so?”

 

Brooklyn Banner

“Yes, sir. Our teacher prepared us for P.S.E. before the time.”

 

Aaron Humes

“Alright, so what will you do for Easter weekend, because I know that next weekend is Easter weekend? You have to study too?”

 

Brooklyn Banner

“Sit down home wid all a mi book dem and study.”

 

Thalia Neal

Thalia Neal, St. Luke’s Methodist

“The Science mi easy but the Language mi kinda complicated.”

 

Aaron Humes

“What was complicated about it?”

 

Thalia Neal

“Cause you mi had to read all kinda ting and dah lat a ting.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So are you looking forward to the Math and Social Studies?”

 

Thalia Neal

“Yes, sir.”

 

Aaron Humes

“And what will you be doing to prepare?”

 

Thalia Neal

“Study, study.”

 

Aaron Humes

“How did you prepare for the examination?”

 

Richard Coye, Queens’ Square Anglican

“By studying.”

 

Aaron Humes

“Did you do anything special? Did you take extra classes, that kind of thing?”

 

Richard Coye

Richard Coye

“I took Saturday class and evening class.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So are you looking forward to the next part which is the Math and Social Studies?”

 

Richard Coye

“Yes, sir.”

 

Aaron Humes

“And what are you doing to prepare?”

 

Richard Coye

“Studying.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So you will study the whole Easter weekend?”

 

Richard Coye

“No, sir.”

 

And while the kids looked confident, Ministry official John Newport reminds that the P.S.E. is the sum total of eight years and not a few weeks or months.

 

John Newport

“Sometimes we’re worried about one percentage point higher, one percentage point lower in P.S.E. Really, let’s look at this long-term. How can we improve students’ learning experiences across the board, so that then, P.S.E. becomes something which everybody can feel confident about.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The second part of the examination comes in early May.

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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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