no-photoThe Belize Junior Achievement Test (BJAT) is an examination intended for all students in sixth grade, or as we know it standard three. It is not offered simultaneously and is designed to inform bearing minimal negative consequences for the student. The 2013 results are in and the Ministry of Education has distributed these results to the schools. Principals are asked to conduct an analysis of the results. District Education Manager Jahmor Lopez says the exam can be very useful for schools.

Jahmor Lopez - District Education Manager

“We finally gotten the 2013 BJAT results and we’ve distributed those to our principals here in the Corozal District and what we are asking our principals to do along with their respective school communities is to do a detail analysis of the performance of their schools.  The BJAT exam is normal sat by students who are in standard three and it sorts of like a barometer reading a litmus test if you wish to call it that way to see where the schools are at and to see where those students are performing because in the next three years they would be sitting the PSE which is the final exam, the BJAT in education terms is sort of like a formative evaluation where  it is on-going and we can put interventions in places to see how we can how we can have students improve and the Primary School Examination which is done in standard six is punto final, that is the final and there isn’t anything that we can do at that point because it is the school leaving exam.  What we do have in the Corozal district and we want to commend those schools that are doing well, we have Caledonia R.C. and Corozal Methodist that are ranked in the competent level and then we have a number of schools that are ranked in the satisfactory level and certainly what we want to do is to have those principals who are in the inadequate lever or even adequate to see those areas of weakness, those areas of concerns and so that we can put interventions in place, it might be that there is an issue in problem solving and problem solving if you narrow it down would be on of comprehension and it might be an issue of literacy and reading which then comes with language development as we do know predominantly Spanish is spoken here it is the first language for many of our students and so certainly we would have to look at the whole language approach to the teaching of language arts and so see how we can strengthen that and then again as the ministry we cannot make those assumptions because each school has its own unique challenges and so the principals along with the teachers, students, parents.  We want to encourage parents to go to school and to enquire about these results and the minister will be visiting the Corozal District shortly and he was supposed to be here next week but we have to reschedule and there will be a Town meeting and we want all parents to come because in order to improve things here in the district in our respective schools we need the support of parents, we need parental support, we need their guidance and so we encourage them to go to school to find out about their child’s performance and to see what role they can play; whether it might just being there with the students, reading to the student doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be literate but it is just showing that support being there that is what we want.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“You mention that two of the schools; Caledonia and Corozal Methodist, this year 2014 PSA have a date been set for that?”

Jahmor Lopez - District Education Manager

“Yes, we do have dates set for those and the sittings for those dates will be in April and May.”

Lopez says that in the Corozal District, Caledonia Roman Catholic School and the Corozal Methodist School are both ranked within the competent level, meaning the performance on this exam is good. Several others within the district are ranked in the satisfactory level. Lopez adds that the ministry wants principals to analyse the results to identify areas of concern in which the ministry can then put interventions in place.

Jahmor Lopez - District Education Manager

“The dates for the PSE exam have already been set and the first sitting will be on Monday April 7th and the two subjects that will be done will be the English language paper and the Science paper and so those will be done on Monday April 7th and then the second sitting will be done on Monday April 5th and that is going to be the Mathematics and the Social Studies. We will be finalizing the Centres, there are certain Centres that are being utilize every year and certainly we will be finalizing those so that schools will know which Centre they will supposed to go to and we will working on those logistics but what we have done is that we have gone through the registration process and then we’ve gone through the verification process as well, there are time you have students who, we actually track students, we have a comprehensive database where students who sit the BJAT and in the next three years we will know that they would be in standard six or should be so we actually send a printed list of students because we expect  that they were supposed to be in standard six and then school then need to confirm if the student is still enrolled or registered in another class of if there is any additions because sometimes we have students who transfer from one school to the next of from district to the next so we’ve gone through that verification exercise and so once we then have our numbers we then finalize our logistics in terms of the different Centres that we will be using because if we have more numbers we might need additional centres or classrooms and so we are in the process of doing that.”

The exam is sat by students in standard three in primary schools across the country.

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