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Feb 26, 2007

Scientist hopes new book will improve Math scores

Story PictureIn just a few months thousands of Belizean students will sit the Primary School Examination and administrators will be holding their breaths. Because when the results were announced in 2006, the national mean performance in math was only forty-five point seven percent, well below the sixty percent deemed satisfactory by the Ministry of Education. The dismal results have spurred one man, President of the Petters Research Institute Dr. Arlie Petters, to action. This afternoon Petters unveiled what he hopes will become the path to better mathematical performance. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
Dr. Arlie Petters is counting on these two books to be the stepping stones to better scores for Belize’s primary school students.

Dr Arlie Petters, President, Petters Research Institute
“We are all aware of the disappointing P.S.E. results in recent years. This prompted me to write a customise P.S.E. Mathematics book, a student edition and a teacher/tutor/parent edition that will assist students in preparation for the P.S.E. in May.”

It took Dr. Petters two months to author the publications, which he says is tailored to the cultural context of Belize, and he is hoping that students and teachers alike will use them in preparation for the May exam.

Dr Arlie Petters
“If you have enough kids working with extra tools this year, there has to be some improvement. It may not be something dramatic, but you consistently stick it out and you keep improving each year, so I see this as a fixable problem. It is not a hopeless situation and I know that the day will come when our kids are gonna be excelling in these core areas for modern development.”

To ensure the that books are accessed by those who need them most, the Petters Research Institute will be donating two thousand dollars worth of the materials to schools and libraries countrywide, as well as to hostels and the prison.

Dr Arlie Petters
“Now, of course, a school has to choose whether to utilise the product or not and we don’t play any role in that. But what we are saying as the institute is, here we have created something to help you address a pressing problem and our position is that if you do nothing, we’ll continue to have very bad results. Like with any illness, you try and attack it as early as possible and you use whatever tools available to take care of the problem.”

The books and the work of his Research Institute in Dangriga are part of Dr. Petter’s personal goal to “strengthen the educational system in math and science.” Assisting him will be the Rotary Club of Alberta, Canada, which will be involved in a three-year project in Belize.

Dr Arlie Petters
“The effort will include investment in computers, accesses to state of the line educational products. In fact, the Canadians spent millions of dollars in developing these online educational products, we will have free access to them, as well as the training of master teachers in math, science and the language arts.”

The books will be available at A&R and the Angelus Press for approximately twenty dollars. Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

Petters also has plans to write another book, this time focussing on science.

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