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Jun 27, 2007

Top P.S.E. scorers honoured in ceremony

Story PictureThe results were released earlier this month, but today was the day to officially honour this year’s top scorers in the Primary School Examination. News Five’s Kendra Griffith has the story.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
This morning proud students, parents, and educators gathered at the Bliss to honour the top twenty-six finishers in the Primary School Examination.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education
“They have been dedicated to their work and disciplined in their preparation and they are most worthy and deserving of the national spotlight which we place on them today.”

Receiving certificates of excellence were fifteen students from the Belize District, five from Cayo, and six from Orange Walk. Xux Ek Novelo of Hummingbird Elementary in Belize City scored highest overall on the P.S.E. and for her efforts received the Jane and Michael Nembhard Award and a computer package.

Xux Ek Novelo, Top P.S.E. Scorer
“This is a dream come true for me. When I started the school year my teacher Mrs. Wade told me, “So Xux Ek, you’ll place first in the P.S.E. exam this year, right.” I thought, why not and even if I don’t place first at least I would have tried my very best.”

“When I heard that I had placed first in the country it was an incredibly happy and proud moment, then I found that my happiness and pride was multiplied many times over by the joy and happiness reflected in the faces of all the caring people.”

Thirteen year old Karla Pinelo of Mount Carmel Primary in Cayo earned her certificate by garnering a score of three hundred and seventy points out of a possible four hundred.

Kendra Griffith
“Karla, how are you feeling today?”

Karla Pinelo, Mt. Carmel Primary
“Very excited, a little bit nervous.”

Kendra Griffith
“Did you study really hard for the PSE?”

Karla Pinelo
“Yes. I did the best I could with the support of my parents, my teachers, all of my friends.”

Kendra Griffith
“How do you feel being the only one from your school to be receiving this honour?”

Karla Pinelo
“I don’t know, it feels kind of exciting and it’s amazing.”

Three of the six students from the Orange Walk District who placed in the top twenty-six came from Louisiana Government School.

Yasel Acosta, Louisiana Govt. School
“It makes me feel like all the sacrifices for the holidays was worth it.”

Bianca de la Fuente, Louisiana Govt. School
“I expected to do good but not this good.”

Negrill Crawford, Louisiana Govt School
“I am feeling very proud of myself.”

Guadeloupe Quetzal, Principal, Louisiana Govt. School
“I am very proud of them and the teachers and the administrators of the school.”

“We are trying to work with our level teachers and these level teachers have a leader and they coordinate the work for us. And I believe the administrators, Mr. Cabrera, Mr. Gutierrez and Mr. Ayuso, they are very good in the work that they are doing.”

Like the Louisiana Govt. School, La Inmaculada Primary also had three students receiving certificates today. One of those students is Edgar Nah.

Edgar Nah, La Inmaculada Primary
“I didn’t know that I would come in the top ten.”

Kendra Griffith
“What do you think contributed to your success?”

Edgar Nah
“My parents helping me, all the teachers doing their jobs, studying and doing all of my work.”

Kendra Griffith
“Now what are your plans for the future?”

Edgar Nah
“Doing well in high school and trying to top the C.X.C.”

And according to Minister of Education Francis Fonseca to do well in school and life, students do not need to attend private schools…

Francis Fonseca
“Yes, it is fair to say that many of our private schools do enjoy the advantage of having students whose socioeconomic status allows them to have greater access to new and improved learning tools, and a home environment that is more fertile for education, but let us never use poverty as an excuse for failure. This is not of course to minimise the tremendous challenges many of our young children face in their daily lives. As our principals and teachers know only too well there are too many cases of violence in our Belizean homes, too many cases of fathers who have abandoned their responsibilities, too many cases of abuse and neglect, too many fathers unemployed or imprisoned, too many mothers choosing the casino and the club over home and child, too many reasons to fail our children.”

… Or achieve high scores in the P.S.E.

Francis Fonseca
“Testing an assessment are critically important, but the Primary School Examination was not meant to be nor should it be the end all and be all of a child’s primary school education. At the end of primary school our goal is to produce responsible well rounded Belizeans. Many secondary schools with the support and the encouragement of the Ministry of Education are increasingly taking a more comprehensive look at the student’s primary education history and record to determine acceptance or otherwise. Does this mean that the P.S.E. will one day becoming meaningless? Certainly not! But it will certainly become just one of other considerations in evaluating a child’s primary education performance.”

At today’s ceremony six certificates of recognition were also given to students who scored the highest in the four subject areas. Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

All the awardees received book grants for the high school of their choice.

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