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Jun 10, 2013

Meet the top scorers on the Primary School Examination

Last Friday, the Ministry of Education released the much anticipated results of the 2013 Primary School Examinations. This year’s results in respect of English and Math were dismal falling below last year’s. In English, fifty-three percent of the students did below a C grade which is ranges from sixty to sixty-nine percent and is considered satisfactory. In math it was worse…with sixty-one percent of students scoring below that C grade. The Ministry of Education will be providing details this Thursday at a press conference. But there are still bright spots, the top performer hails from Bernice Yorke Institute and is a shy young girl. We also found some students who did exceedingly well despite the odds. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Some twenty-six students from primary schools across the country shared the top nine spots in the 2013 P.S.E. While first and fourth place had individual place holder, the other seven—specifically third, seventh and eighth place were shared by up to four bright minds. Fourteen year old Siyun Ye of the Bernice Yorke Institute got three hundred and ninety-one of the four hundred points to claim title as top performer.


Siyun Ye

Siyun Ye, Bernice Yorke Institute

“I was surprised, but happy at the same time. I just studied a lot and tried to practice at home and here at school.”


Marleni Cuellar

“Did you do extra classes?”


Siyun Ye

“The school had extra classes on Saturday.”


Marleni Cuellar

“And you spent a lot of time studying for it?”


Siyun Ye

“Well I tried to study at least some time every day.”


Marleni Cuellar

“Now when you took the exams, how did think you did initially?”


Siyun Ye

“I thought I did good, but I didn’t think it was that good.”


Second place in the exams was split between three students—one from San Pedro R.C. and two from Saint Andrews Anglican School in San Ignacio. Saint Andrews Anglican, according to its Principal, Joan Neal, has always had students coming in the top twenty-five for the exams, but it’s the first time that they’ve made second and with two.


Joan Neal, Principal, St. Andrews Anglican School

“We are very happy, we are excited, we are elated that our students have done well. It wasn’t really a surprise because of the caliber of the children that we sent up this year. They were very good students and we knew that they had the ability to perform well. Our school in the past has performed exceptionally well. We have had students more than once in the top twenty-five. We have in the past reached first place in the country in Math so we have a strong Math program here at our school.”


Joan Neal

Duane Moody

“What does this mean for your school to have done so well?”


Joan Neal

“It is very good; it is something that we have been working towards and by no means we intend to stop. We need to stay up there; we need to keep up there.”


Even more touching is that both students come from humble homes.  One is from a single parent home while the other lives in a remote area in the Cayo District with no electricity. Both said they were expecting to do well, but not to be one of the top scorers.


Vincent Hulse, St. Andrews Anglican School

Vincent Hulse

“I expected to do a little good, because during my school, I would usually come in first. Going into the exam, I was nervous and didn’t expect to come second. I feel very proud of myself and it is really an honor to be second place.”


Duane Moody

“How hard was it to actually get this far and do this well?”


Vincent Hulse

“Well you had to put a lot of effort, you have to thank god of course because without him nothing would be possible. You also need to thank the teachers; they really helped me—from infant one and preschool as well. You yourself have to put in the extra effort so that you can achieve your goals.”


Nelson Esteban

Nelson Esteban, St. Andrews Anglican School

“I expected to come in the top twenty-five, but not this place.”


Duane Moody

“How does it feel to have done so well for the P.S.E.?”


Nelson Esteban

“I feel proud of myself and I thank god first and my teachers for help me.  I studied hard, my parents pushed me and my teachers helped me a lot. Also my friends, we helped each other.”


Duane Moody

“Going into the examinations were you nervous? Did you find any particular paper hard?”


Nelson Esteban

“In fact I found like some questions that were a bit complicated to answer, but I felt sure of myself because I knew I had studied hard.”


Duane Moody

“School… Have you decided which high school you are going to go to and what’s your anticipations?”


Nelson Esteban

“Yes, I am going to attend Sacred Heart College.”


Twelve year old Vincent and fourteen year old Nelson are joined by two other classmates, Zahara Zul and Alain Morris, who tied for sixth in the P.S.E. results. Duane Moody for News Five.


In the list of the top twenty-six performers, thirteen were registered in the Belize District, nine in Cayo and one each from Stann Creek, Orange Walk, Corozal and Toledo Districts. 

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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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10 Responses for “Meet the top scorers on the Primary School Examination”

  1. Rod says:

    Now this makes me real sad even more than this gov. Messing up every aspect of life in this country all these top students come from different countries not even true belizeans this truly makes me sad.

  2. Malcolm Dale says:

    The winner says ““I thought I did good, but I didn’t think it was that good.”
    You’d think she would know the difference between doing good and doing well. At least Ms Moody said “our students have done well”
    Anyway, congratulations to both of you.

  3. sweetcheeks says:

    Rod are you stupid?

  4. FiWeBelize says:

    We have been saying this is an issue and that our children are being failed by the system for a long time. Sad that the reality had to happen and come to light by 53% of students failing… There is so much work to do to get our Education System on track but it will take ALL of us to do it.

    This is the reason that we have been working with Mr Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant. He is Belizean and grew up and studied within the Belize Education systems, and then studied in the USA to earn a Masters Degree in Education.

    We invite each and everyone of you to read each Guidance Counseling article and participate actively in discussions on them. It is only through community participation that we can truly see where the issues are, and then work to solve them.

  5. Jackie says:

    IF this year was worse than last year, what does this mean? That the system is failing our students, failing to prepare them for the future which, is advancing and not staying stagnant. We should be improving on all areas but, sad to say many many if not all our ministers, inclusive of our eloquent leader are just a shame to hold public office. All they care about is the public funds, driving expensive vehicles and living the life while our country is just going down the drain in all aspects of society…

  6. analise says:

    I can already hear Faber giving his speech saying he has doubled the budjet of the Ministry of Education, as if this in itself is an achievement, what is the achievement in spending more and receiving less. this should be an indictment of his ministry. The private primaty schools receive no money from government yet they continue to excel every year. they must have a formula that is working, why government can’t work with them. create charter schools. involve them more in conferences, government treat private schools like they don’t exist, they wan’t nothing to do with them. the future of a nation depends on the education and health of its children. how do you think BELIZE is doing in either field..

  7. Rose says:

    To the parents of the top winners, in particular to the parents of Siyun Ye, Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban – congratulations not only to your extremely bright and dedicated scholars, but to you the parents for instilling in your children the value of education and dedication to their studies. This should show all the haters what a proper home upbringing and dedication can achieve.

    To the negative “Rods” out there – Siyun in particular should be seen as a perfect example of what cultures that are not made up of lazy and bitchy people can achieve in life. Why do you think that countries such as China, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. are competitors in the world arena? Because it all starts with a good education and is topped off with respect for one’s family, family structure and especially respect for yourself. Instead of being bitchy about these kids’ race and culture, see them as a positive example of what can be achieved with a serious dedication. If these kids can make it, why can’t the others? It certainly shows that it is not the education system that is failing.

    A small mistake between the use of the words “good” and “well” is being criticized but you fail to notice that all three top winners spoke extremely GOOD English. How many kids are not interviewed by the media and it makes you want to curl up and die with their total lack of the use of proper English? Even when it is attempted, the misuse of nouns, verbs and tenses is atrocious! And I am not speaking about children that come from non English speaking households. You go figure what the use of Creole has done, and is continuing to do, not only to the education system, but to the future of this country!

  8. Johnny Bze says:

    Congrats to all top scorers!!! I am sure that it is a result of hard work from teachers, students, and parents.

    In my mind, one of the main reasons why children score low in school is that now there is too much distraction. They prefer to go on facebook and other social sites rather than sit down and read or review. It is the sad reality. That is as a result of poor parenting/monitoring.

    So many teens online til late hours thanks to wifi and smart phones. Im not bashing technology as I believe that we should embrace it as a tool to make us better…as a learning tool.

  9. BMNJ says:

    Very well said, Rose. Haters are jealous and narrow-minded.

  10. John Mencias says:

    Congratulations to St. Andrew Anglican Primary School in San Ignacio, one of my alma maters. This primary school has been performing exceptionally well in the PSEs for the past 20 years plus, but we never heard much about them because the media have always concentrated on the top performers from the Belize City-based schools instead of reporting on the overall performance of schools (i.e. average score per student sitting exam) from all districts. This year they had 2 of the top 5 and 4 of the top 15. But more importantly, their overall performance continues to shine forth.

    Congratulations to Mrs. Neal, the Principal, and her staff for their hard work and dedication, and many thanks to all the past teachers and students who continue to be there for St. Andrew!!! SAS —- ALL THE WAY!!!

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