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May 3, 2019

Belize City Students Confident in P.S.E.

Earlier in the newscast, we showed students in southern Belize as they walked for miles to get to P.S.E. exam centres. In the city, the picture was very different – parents and family members accompanied the young students to the different high schools designated for the exams. So while the students in Machakilha were hopeful, we found the students to be confident. Dalila Ical has the following story.


Dalila Ical, Reporting

It will be several weeks before the results of this year’s Primary School Examinations will be known.  The hope of the Ministry of Education is that there will be some improvement. According to Minister of Education Patrick Faber measures have been taken to prompt these improvements.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“We are hoping that all will go well, we are hoping for some indication of improvement this year. We have been working diligently especially as it relates to our math and language arts curriculum and we are hoping that his year we can see some of those changes come into effect. We have the equip initiative which focused on math training and also on language art training and apart from that the overall training of teachers. We have seen were the number of trained teachers have jumped tremendously over the last decade and so we are hoping that we will start seeing the results of all the investments not only of the government and people of Belize but also the many partners who have engaged with us to ensure that there is a higher quality of education and that these subject areas in particular improve.”


And like the Minster of Education, the students stepped out of exam centres this afternoon with confidence, confidence in their support systems and their efforts.


Talisha Jones, Student

“It was good; it was not really hard nor was it really easy, it was just challenging”



“What part of it was most challenging for you?”


Talisha Jones

 “The Math and the Social Studies”


Kelice Usher, Student

“Ih neva easy ih neva hard, ih mi in between. Like the social studies, mi very easy. Some of the problems were confusing and the math two was a little challenging. The Math one was very, very easy though.”



“Do you think you prepared enough for today and what you saw in those exams?”


Kelice Usher

 “I think I was prepared because I studied most of the time.”


Giselle Edwards, Student

“I was ready for the exams miss.”



“Was it what you expected or was there any part of it that surprised you?”


Giselle Edwards

“No Miss, I was prepared. Nothing surprised me.”



“So you are expecting a good grade?”


Giselle Edwards

“Yes ma’am.”



“Do you feel you got the support you needed?”


Giselle Edwards

“Yes ma’am, I got the support from the principal and my teacher.”


Arjun Sujnani, Student

“I believe I was prepared enough and for social, a little bit of surprise. Math was good.”



“What surprised you in Social Studies?”


Arjun Sujnani

“I’d say some topics I didn’t cover but I wouldn’t say if they were topics I covered directly or indirectly.”



“But in terms of grades and passing, you are going to be up there?”


Arjun Sujnani

“I’m pretty sure.”


Darnel Stain, Student

“It was very good. It was challenging at some points but I found a way to do it because our teachers prepared us very hard.



“So you prepared lots of hours?”


Darnel Stain

“Yes. I had to stay up some nights when I didn’t want to and wake up late in the morning.”



“Was any part of you actually scared when you went into the Exam room?”


Darnel Stain

“I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what the PSE would look like this year but I found a way to get through it because you have to throw all the information you knew out on the paper.”


The students’ performance has proved essential as they transition to high school but it goes beyond that. Their performance on the PSE will have a bearing in secondary school.


Patrick Faber

“Most of them, I repeat this every year when the P.S.E. grades come out. There are enough high school spaces for all of these children, all seven thousand plus of them, if they were interested in accessing that. So every year when we speak to the high schools especially those taking these primary school students into first form they will tell you that their background strength is not as it ought to be and we are hoping that we can see a kind of change as it relates to that, that the children even if the Math and English scores in the PSE are not reflecting that big jump that we are seeing a stronger start in high school so that they are able to push on a bit longer in high school, hopefully to completion so that they can at least get what is now a basic high school foundation.”


For now, students can take a well deserved break as they wait for their results



“Are you glad that P.S.E. is over for you?”


Kashmere Young, Student




“What are you going to do no?”


Kashmere Young

 “Relax. I want to thank God, I want to thank my teachers and then I want to thank my parents.”


Reporting for News Five, Dalila Ical.

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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