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May 21, 2004

P.S.E. scores improve dramatically

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They are the best overall results since the Primary School Examination was introduced four years ago… with scores up in math, science, and English. And while averages of fifty-four point nine, sixty-six point six, and fifty-five point one percent will not earn many gold stars, the improvement, according to educators, is significant. As for the top scorers… well, they’re always in a good mood.

Rasine Gillett, Top Scorer, P.S.E.

“I thought that it was great. I didn?t know what to do, I almost wanted to cry because I was so happy.”

Hero Balani, 2nd Highest Scorer, P.S.E.

“No I did not expect anything, but I would say that I did expect to get a little good grade, but I did not expect to get any high ranks.”

Yueh?Han Lin, 2nd Highest Scorer, PSE

“I was well prepared so I did not feel any kind of nervousness. I did not feel nervous throughout the exam.”

Pedro Gonzales, 3rd Highest Scorer, PSE

“No, I didn?t really expect any of it.?

Jacqueline Woods


Pedro Gonzales

?I don?t know, I just did my best and hoped for the best.”

The students, who topped the 2004 Primary School Examination, all agree they were surprised about their overall performance. The scores not only have the children feeling very proud, but the Ministry of Education describes it as a historic achievement.

Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer, M.O.E.

“Great improvement in the math paper, the problem solving paper that was usually the hardest part of the exam, or most difficult part of the exam. But we have seen great improvement in that area, in science as well, and in some areas of English as well.”

Rasine Gillett from St. Joseph Primary School attained the highest overall score, amassing three hundred and seventy-nine points out of a total of four hundred points. Gillett says although she prepared for the examination, she did not expect the high grade.

Rasine Gillett

“Because I know there may be some people smarter than me, and I didn?t really expect it, because I do good in school but not really well.”

The students did acknowledge that if it was not for the assistance given by their teachers, they would not have done so well.

Hero Balani

“Our teachers they supported us fully, and my parents also supported me and they gave me a lot of encouragement, so that’s how I did it.”

Glorycela Torres, Principal, St. Joseph Primary School

“We do have teachers who do extra classes. We have a parent who comes in the morning from seven-thirty to eight-thirty to do remedial math with the children. We have a Taiwanese parent who volunteered for three consecutive years now.”

Molly Heulett, Principal, Holy Redeemer Primary School

“Overall we look at the child?s entire school year, we don?t only concentrate on standard six, because P.S.E. is really what the child has done throughout the school years. So that is the important thing. Another thing, we keep looking at the entire curriculum. Although the children reach standard six, we don?t only concentrate on the P.S.E. subjects because we think that some of the skills that they will acquire can also come from the other subject areas, so we still do our P.E., our computers classes, and our handicraft and so forth.”

Principal Education Officer with responsibility for national examinations, Yvonne Davis, believes this year’s improved performance is due to a number of factors including the new efforts to make the examination booklets more user friendly.

Yvonne Davis

“Getting it to look more user-friendly, the children were exposed to, for the first time in the history of the Examinations Unit, a fully coloured examination booklet, all the booklets were in colour and I think that added to heightened performance in the different areas.”

However, Davis says there is still more room for improvement.

Yvonne Davis

“For example grammar, all the mechanics of English, particularly spelling, spelling of sight words. At standard six we have noticed that that is a major problem. So there are quite a few areas that we need to tighten up on.”

This year, five thousand eight hundred and eighteen students sat the P.S.E.

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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