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May 4, 2018

Why the P.S.E. Remains Relevant

Nelson Longsworth

What really are the importance and significance of the P.S.E. results? There is an annual debate about whether the teaching content gets through to the youths, and the majority of secondary schools place less emphasis on the scores than they do the regular Standard Five and Standard Six grades. But the P.S.E. as a mark of how well students got through eight years of school work is still relevant. According to the Ministry of Education’s Nelson Longsworth, the key is to put the results to good use in identifying key areas to be emphasized in teaching.


Nelson Longsworth, Head of Examinations Unit, Ministry of Education

“The P.S.E. is not a selection exam. It’s an exam that describes the performance of students after eight years of primary school. In the past, with many schools, it was used as a selection process, to determine who will attend their schools; but we’re finding now that that is far less the issue. But it would play an important role in trying to help them define what needs to be done for these children entering high schools; what are some of their weaknesses and what they can do, especially during the summer because many of them have these summer schools, and a lot of them use these results to support that kind of process, in terms of engaging them in some pre-entry Math and English especially. We still have a few schools who wait, before final acceptance of students, on the P.S.E. results, so that’s still a part of the process. Just next door, we have E.P. Yorke, who is one of those schools that wait because they do depend on what the P.S.E. scores would say in making their final decision in determining who they will invite to participate in their school.”


Aaron Humes

“But in a general aspect, a general sense of things – you could have a bad day on the exam, it drags down on your overall score and you then end up missing out on the school you wanted to go to just because of that exam. So there’s seems to be pitfalls either way in terms of depending on P.S.E.”


Nelson Longsworth

“That’s why it’s a combination – no one school will just use P.S.E. Even E.P. Yorke will use their Standard Six results as well to determine who will participate. They also use the recommendations made by teachers and principals of the primary schools.”

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