If you would judge by the way young people are grammatically incorrect on social media on many occasions, you would think that English is lost to the young generation. The PSE results for 2019, however, is showing some improvements in this subject. As a matter of fact, the PSE report, notes, quote, “More students in 2019 are now achieving an Adequate level or better in English.” Mathematics also shows some improvements in the results. According to the ministry, more students are scoring above fifty percent which is better than previous years when majority were getting scores of fifty and below. Love News spoke with Nelson Longsworth, the Director of Examination Unit in the Ministry of Education who spoke of these improvements along with Social Studies and Science.
Nelson Longsworth – Director of Examination Unit, Ministry of Education: “The performance we focus on is by subject, we don’t really do an overall score as how many people like to do, average out the score because each subject is unique and each is tested separately from the other so they are not equal per say. We find out that we continue to see small improvements with three of the subjects which would be English, Math and Social Studies but Science continues to show a decline. In terms of overall performance, we are still averaging a little over 50% passes in these subjects, Social Studies is a little higher. You would find that the students who rank best are now coming from schools that are not generally as considered to be private schools so a lot of the denominational schools have candidates that are doing extremely well. In terms of school performance we are seeing some schools continuing to do well and of which include some of the private schools. In the report we do have a list of all the schools whom we have considered to have done well in four categories: we have coming from St. Andrew’s Anglican is the number one student, the number two comes from San Pedro School and then third and fourth comes from St. Peter Claver in the Toledo District which is really remarkable.”
We also asked Longsworth about the significance of the PSE especially since the majority of high schools are no longer waiting for the results to accept students.
Nelson Longsworth – Director of Examination Unit, Ministry of Education: “To say that it is an exam that is used for selection, it is no longer considered an exam for selection. It is a criterion-referenced exam that measures student performance based on the primary school curriculum so by extension that data is used for evaluating the system at different levels, evaluating schools, evaluating how subjects are being taught and primarily how students have done over the eight years in school so it is a critical data for the system. Many of the high schools who have already admitted students based on their Std. 4,5 and 6 grades is because there is a strong correlation between those results and the results they will get for P.S.E. so you can practically predict how your students will perform at P.S.E. Especially, the schools who have Std. 6 teachers who have been preparing students for these exams for some time so they accept the students but what we find is that they still use the results to determine whether the children will need pre-preparation for high school, like summer school as it is called.”
Longsworth added that the PSE results is a critical data for the schools to analyse in determining how they can assist students entering high schools.