Last week, the PSE results were released and the overall picture painted was not a very good one as more than half of the students who sat the exams scored less than satisfactory in all four subject areas. Love News asked Elena Smith, President of the Belize National Teachers Union, (BNTU) whether the results of the PSE are a reflection of the teachers, the educational system or the parents.
Elena Smith, BNTU President: “We note with concern that the results have remained somewhat in the same manner for the past ten years, we’ve not seen much increase in the results especially for language and math but however we are aware that as teachers we have a part to play in that process. We must be mindful as well that parents play a crucial role in that process and so while it may be the easiest thing to blame teachers for the results we must understand that we have stakeholders that contribute to what happens in the classroom, those include your parents, students themselves, us as teachers as well as what happens within the school curriculum and so any changes that are made to those could also affect what the students get, what is being presented to them in the classroom, how we prepare with those changes so there are many factors that could affect the results of the PSE. It might be time for us to reconsider how we analyze where our students are at a standard six level and how far they’ve reached and what part of the skills they have mastered at that level as opposed to just using that one general examination.”
Smith suggested that the exam should be used only as a percentage of students’ overall grade.