Seven thousand two hundred and thirty students from primary institutions from around the country have registered to take part in the 2016 Primary School Examination. The first two papers were administered today, being English and Science; as explained by the Director of the Examinations Unit in the Ministry of Education, Nelson Longsworth.
“Well this year we had the first sitting today which we call the day 1 comprised of the English and Science papers. We had registered a total of 7,257 students from standard six from across the country along with a few students who were from Social Institutions and also from some other programs. The most candidates come from the Belize and Cayo districts. The Cayo district having a total of 1,893 and in the Belize district having 1,896. The closest to that then would be the Toledo district and the smallest district would be Corozal with 811 candidates. The mixture of male and female is approximately nearly equal.”
The examinations began at eight thirty this morning and by one forty five this afternoon the students were done with day one. Love News caught up with some of these soon to be primary school graduates to get their impression on today’s exams.
“Voice 1: The science was the most difficult for me.
Voice 2: It was a little difficult but I prayed and asked God so that I could be calm and it went.
Voice 3: The most difficult one for me was letter writing.
Voice 4: The language gave me the most trouble but all together it was actually easier than I thought it would be. I didn’t have much trouble with it.
Voice 5: I’m not really good at writing stories so for me that part was harder. For the multiple choice that was pretty straight forward but the English story writing that is where I had the most trouble.
With the exams completed, the booklets were immediately secured and the process of getting them transported back to Belize City began. Tomorrow will see the start of the process of reconciliation, says Longsworth.
“Once we receive back from the center, the scripts; we do a reconciliation process where each examination paper needs to be accounted for and that each question paper that the children used also has to be accounted for and the answer sheets as well and the multiple choice. We then prepare for the two types of marking that will be done, the answer sheets will be scanned and marked electronically and the paper two that has the letter and narrative that are written will be marked by teachers over the Easter break and that will start on Monday. That goes through a standardization process to make sure that the children’s scripts are marked across once standard. It’s really elaborate but it takes us seven full days to complete the 7,000 scripts that we will be marking.
Meanwhile, the primary school children can breathe a little easier with fifty percent of their exam being done and over with. We asked a few of them how they feel about their performance.
“Voice 1: I think I will get an 85 to 90.
Voice 2: I think I scored about a 91.
Voice 3: I think I did excellent in fact.
Voice 4: I am very proud of myself right now.
Voice 5: I think I did pretty well.
For today’s exams, twenty nine high schools gave their students the day off as their classrooms were used to facilitate these students in taking their English and Science exams. Both the English and Science Paper contained fifty multiple choice questions while the English Paper had additional parts, namely, the Letter Writing and the Narrative Writing. As has been indicated by the Ministry of Education, the Primary School Examinations are not intended to be used the only measuring stick for students to be accepted into secondary institutions. The exams are to be used as a certification of the students for their completion of primary school education in four content areas. It is to be noted that this year’s number of registered students sitting the PSE has seen a decline as in 2014 the registered amount was seven thousand five hundred and fifty one and in 2015 it had lowered to seven thousand three hundred and twenty five with 2016 being even lower. Part two of the 2016 Primary School Examination is set for Tuesday, May 3.