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Jun 12, 2012

Ministry says P.S.E. scores improved, but could be better

The P.S.E. is over and those students are now looking forward to attending the High School of their choice. And while they forget about those two testing days, the Ministry of Education has just begun to mull over P.S.E. 2012. While doing some statistical number crunching, it seems that of the four subject areas tested, students performed well in Science. Based on previous years, the scores in Math and English have remained steady with an incremental improvement over last year. News Five’s Andrea Polanco spoke to ministry officials who concede that the overall scores aren’t quite impressive but they represent an improvement in performance.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Of the six thousand nine hundred and seventy six students who sat the P.S.E, more than half obtained scores of sixty and above. The Ministry of Education says that while the results aren’t overwhelming; it is worth recognizing.

 

Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer, National Exams

Yvonne Davis

“The overall performance on the P.S.E this year is at the satisfactory level. Students performing at about sixty-three percent overall; so most people who sat the test this year received a C overall.”

 

Carol Babb, Deputy Chief Education Officer

“Well, I think that we are not joyous but we are very satisfied that we’ve seen some improvement; presently we now have a sector’s strategy and each district will be assessing their needs and we will determine how much improvement is reasonable for those students to achieve and we will work on that.”

 

Analysis shows that students performed best in Science. While there have been overall incremental increases in the four subjects, Math and English once again pulled in the lowest scores:

 

Yvonne Davis

“Science produced the best overall scores with students getting around seventy-four percent on average and that is at the B level which is described as the competent level. Students performed adequately in English and Math; English at fifty-eight point nine five percent and Math at fifty-four point three eight four percent. Performance on Social Studies was satisfactory in the sixties as well at sixty-eight point nine two. Now these results are more or less, they are not the same; we have a huge increase in Science; we have increase in Social Studies and we also have a slight increase in Math and English. You’ll notice that from the trend data we sent you, you’ll notice that English and Math are more or less steady or steadier than the Social Studies and Science. But overall there is improvement over the scores last year.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When you say steady; is it safe to say that Math and English continue to be problem areas for the students?”

 

Yvonne Davis

“I don’t know if you’d want to classify them as problem areas but I know that the scores have been more or less the same in terms of the students performing at the adequate level or getting Ds in English and Math. However, over the years it has proven to us that Math has been a challenge for the students at primary and yes indeed that is probably why the scores are the way they are in both English and Math those have always been considered challenge areas. You must also remember that these are the two subjects that carry the performance papers; whilst Science and Social Studies carry only the multiple choice paper of fifty items, the English and Math paper carry Paper II which is an application paper and students are required to produce answers to questions which are posed to them and those are the challenging areas we have noticed over the years.”

 

Orange Walk District had the best scores overall in the B and C levels. The two southern districts performed the poorest, with Toledo being last. The Ministry says that a tailored approached will address the challenging sections.

 

Carol Babb

Carol Babb

“Presently, we are revising the Math Curriculum; we are piloting the new curriculum in schools and we are making it a more hands on. If you can recall, I don’t know about you but when I was taught mathematics in school the teachers would draw a figure and explain in abstract. We’re taking a different approach with mathematics. We are actually taking on hands on activities; where children are observing and doing discovery and inquiring. We just started that a year ago so I don’t think we can see the results immediately, but I am positive that within the next two to three years we will see an improvement in Mathematics in BJAT and in the next five years or so in the P.S.E.  Presently we have the Banana Project where a number of teachers in the Southern Districts are being trained; as you know only about forty-seven percent of our teachers in our entire country are trained.  We are trying to improve the skills of all our teachers but there is a program that speaks specifically to teachers in the Southern Districts to ensure that they improve their skills; to ensure that they have pedagogy and content as well.”

 

The P.S.E results also show that whilst scores in Social Studies and English were higher for girls; boys performed better in Math and Science. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

In terms of the performance from the management of schools, the Seventh Day Adventist ranked lowest, followed by Methodist School whilst on the other end of the scale the Roman Catholic schools performed similarly well as compared to the private schools. Click here to see the preliminary results of the 2012 P.S.E.

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2 Responses for “Ministry says P.S.E. scores improved, but could be better”

  1. Elly says:

    We need more trained teachers at the school level. However, the sad reality is that when the teachers do return from further training, they move on to teaching at High Schools rather than return to the Primary Schools. Guess it’s the lure of the higher salary. Can’t say that I blame them, though. M.O.E. needs to revisit primary school teachers’ salary scales and raise them accordingly. No doubt this will then be reflected on the PSE results.

  2. Cayo says:

    Since when is 74% a B? Seriously – if a child got under a 70, at any international educational institution, that is a failing grade. To say that the outcome are “satisfactory” and “competent” is a sad state since the average of these scores doesn’t even achieved the 70% mark .

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