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May 31, 2010

Yvonne Davis breaks down PSE statistics

yvonne davis

The statistics show an improvement over last year with national increases in all subject areas. Sixty-six point five percent of the candidates had satisfactory to excellent performances in English.  Seventy seven percent of candidates also had satisfactory to excellent performances in Science. Sixty-five point three percent of candidates had satisfactory to excellent performances in Social Studies. Mathematics, however, remains dismal and challenging for educators because only thirty-seven point six percent of candidates performed at or better than the Satisfactory level.  That means three thousand one hundred and forty students received E scores which range from zero to forty-nine and is described as inadequate. News Five spoke to Yvonne Davis, the Principal Examination Officer in Charge of Exams about the numbers.

Yvonne Davis, Principal Examination Officer in Charge of Exams

“The mathematics paper—well, both papers on the mathematics exam, I’m not totally impressed but I am pleased with some of what I have seen in regards to the number of persons who have really mastered the concepts in Maths and have gained one hundred percent, full marks, on the PSE this year. I think we have about twelve students that we will award certificate of achievement for achieving one hundred percent on the math paper. That is the most challenging of the four subjects on the PSE. There is also increase in Social Studies, Science and English. When it comes to improvement, we want to look at the trend because when you look at the trend from the time we began with the PSE in 2000 to now, you will notice that there is a steady increase in the numbers every year.  I think for all of the subjects there are spiked in between, so to look at the improvement over the years you have to study the trend to determine whether or not we do have a great improvement or significant improvement or none at all.”

Jose Sanchez

“So is it significant? Is it small?”

Yvonne Davis

“Well, I would hope that we would be able to continue to see increase in the scores every year and that would help us to understand what kind of improvement we are having. The increase in the scores does not necessarily mean that there was an improvement overall. There are a number of schools this year that have done exceptionally well and they have taken up the lead scores in the different subject areas. We also have those schools, a number of schools, that are still not performing the way they ought to be performing at the standard six level. And so the scores go up and down each year because we still have that wide range of schools   that are not performing and the small number of schools that are pushing really hard and are doing well.”

Jose Sanchez

“When it comes to the schools that aren’t doing as well, did they do worst? I don’t see that on the report.”

Yvonne Davis

“It’s difficult to tell because we haven’t done the complete analysis. The analysis takes a while, we will look at individual school performance and we will look at how much schools have improved their performance over a period of time and those will become public to the system. But at this point I cannot say.”

Davis says that perhaps it is time for Math teachers to get together to find new and innovative ways to reach the students, since the results over the past few years have been at the same level.

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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