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Jun 13, 2016

Angelina Urbina Tied for Top Scorer in P.S.E.

Angelina Urbina

The 2016 P.S.E. results were released late on Friday evening. The Ministry of Education says there is not any marked improvement to those of last year with Math posing a huge challenge in the curriculum of schools.  That aside, a number of students and teachers are celebrating the hard work put into preparing for the national exams.  This year, two young ladies tied for the top spots. Young Angelina Urbina from La Inmaculada School in Orange Walk came close to a perfect score. Today, News Five’s Isani Cayetano caught up with her in class.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

With the results of the 2016 Primary School Examinations having been released, the euphoria among the nation’s top performers is still very palpable.  For some, including thirteen-year-old Angelina Urbina, who tied for first place with a total of three hundred and ninety-one points, the feeling is surreal.


Angelina Urbina, Student, La Inmaculada R.C.

“So I was at my aunt’s house and my mom called me, giving me the news and I was completely shocked, I was taken aback and I had no idea how to react except just being in shock.  I didn’t expect it whatsoever.”


What was anticipated, nonetheless, was a strong performance from each of the students who sat the papers.  The exams are geared toward assessing achievement of curriculum content and skills in four specific areas: English, Math, Social Studies and Science.


Corena Romero

Corena Romero, Teacher, La Inmaculada R.C.

“They worked so hard, especially we teachers.  Four of us use to give morning classes and they also came for Saturday classes.”


Isani Cayetano

“What has been the overall performance of the Standard Six group this year in the P.S.E.s?”


Corena Romero

“Overall in this school, we had only three students doing below fifty.  The rest did above fifty; having seventy-three point three percent pass in our school.”


The achievement caps off an already stellar academic year for La Inmaculada R.C.  A little over a week ago, the primary school placed third in the annual Coca-Cola Spelling Bee Competition and has performed exceptionally in sports, as well as the arts.


While Kenly Young and Angelina Urbina tied for first place, the subsequent rank went to fourteen-year-old Marcela Lozano of Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning.


Marcela Lozano

Marcela Lozano, Student, Bernice Yorke Institute

“I was very happy with myself and for what I received and so was the rest of my family too.  They were like super excited for me.”


Isani Cayetano

“Were you expecting to do so well or did this happen by chance, despite all the work and the preparation that you have put into it.”


Marcela Lozano

“Well, I had the confidence that yes I would do well but I wasn’t [expecting to do so well].  It was a surprise to me that I did so well.”


Marcela is one of a small handful of students who sat the exams from BYI.  The school however, has as many as five placements in the top fifteen countrywide.  It’s a remarkable feat, one that highlights the school’s consistency.


Shery Ali

Shery Ali, Principal, Bernice Yorke Institute

“We have twelve students who sat the exams and all twelve scored A’s and we have five students in the top twenty-five.  And we have our top performer who got the second highest in the country. Even though it’s twelve students if you look around you’ll see thirty-one chairs.  So at our school, Standard Five and Six actually share one classroom so we have multi-grade only for Standard Five and Six level.  So yes it’s a small group working within a larger group.”


Another primary school which has been constant in its performance on a yearly basis is Pancotto Primary School in the Belize District.  Darla Guerra rounds out the top ten and is among four colleagues from her school to finish within the first twenty-five students nationally.  Preparing for P.S.E. began when she was in Standard Five.


Darla Guerra

Darla Guerra, Student, Pancotto Primary School

“Most of our work was in Standard Five when our Standard Five teacher prepared us to take it.  Then when we reached Standard Six our teacher helped us with the problems we had that we didn’t really understand.  She helped us to make sure that we understand it so when we reached in the P.S.E. room we knew what we were doing.”


Lisa Canton

Lisa Canton, Teacher, Pancotto Primary School

“Children in Standard Six, most of them are like twelve, thirteen and fourteen and parents tend to think that these children are grown-ups.  Like often they would come here for report cards and they would say, “He’s old enough, I shouldn’t be behind him.”  But I just want the parents out there, in Belize, to know that you need to be there for your children.  As I look at the children who do well, those were the parents who came to check on their children, the parents who made sure their children did their homework and as they go off to high school I just want to encourage the parents, continue being there for them.  They need your support and you will see that if you do that you will see the difference in the grades because I can see it for the ones who excelled in my class. They were the parents who were pushing them.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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