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Screen_Shot_2014-04-03_at_8.13.35_PMFor standard six students, the Primary School Examinations or as we call it the ‘PSE’ can be frightening to some and a welcomed challenged for others. And on Monday, students across the country will be sitting part one of the examination, those are the Science and English papers. And while many schools have been preparing their students from the very onset of the school year, we felt it imperative to highlight their academic preparations for the big day. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this extensive report.

Maria Novelo – Reporting

Thousands of standard six students across the country will be sitting part one of the primary school examinations on Monday. The examinations serve as a grading scheme and reflect the effectiveness of the National Curriculum, and for the teachers it is an important assessment of what students have learned in 8 years. Today, we visited with several schools and got insight on the preparation process.

Joel Valdez – Teacher, St. Peter’s Anglican

“What I did at the beginning of the school year is that the first term we use it to teach all the concepts and the content that the curriculum has and then I give them extra classes and then January and February I use it to drill them that is the same concept only that I comes in the form of booklets and you know and thing that will come in the PSE so I just drill them and drill them.”

Dunia Mendez – Teacher, Louisiana Gov;t School

“We take different extra classes, we give them morning classes we start before eight o’clock and we go the whole up to four o’clock and sometimes up to five o’clock with some students who are willing to stay the extra mile and we also give them Saturday classes and so they get the different mocs so that they all get acquainted with the exams and what it exactly it entails.  One hundred and twenty seven students are sitting this exam this year so the population is big and that makes it or the level of students that we are actually producing it is a big number not any school has this number and we have to make sure that each one of them feel successful at the end.”

With the provision of practice questions, topic specific tests, study guides, topic specific notes, pre-tests and post-tests, for most schools, the aim is for students to perform better this year.

Faustino Juchim – Teacher, Trial Farm Gov;t School

“Considering the fact that we have the standard six and this is a special group and what we have been doing is that we usually start classes at eight o’clock in the morning and despite the fact that we have had some setbacks because some students do not come here so early and we have seen that this has been happening probably of the interest on the parent behalf because if they would have the support of the parents I think that everybody is going to be here and we try to struggle despite the fact that the majority of them are not here I mean we still have those challenges because you know as I mention this is a very special crowd and the kind of  students that we have not everybody is at the same level there is some kind of disparity so we are trying to address that by giving them the morning classes and actually dealing with the problem with an  individual basis.”

Joel Valdez – Teacher, St. Peter’s Anglican

“The school has been doing well and the grade has been going up and we have had excellent students performing in Math and Language arts we have had students that have been doing good on that so we expect that this year they do much better than last year.”

One of the biggest hurdles the students face year after year is the essay writing in the Language Arts paper.

While there were mixed emotions about Mondays papers, we asked the students for their views.

Kaini Obando – Student, st. peters

“My teacher is helping us a lot and my family, my mother is like a teacher and she is helping me on Saturdays like at home she drills me with letter writing, story writing and stuff like that so I can be ready for the PSE.”

Raheem Alvarez – student, st.peters

“It’s going good and my teacher is helping us a lot with evening classes and sometimes Saturdays classes and he is drilling us, every day he is giving us homework and he makes sure we doing and understand what he is teaching and if you don’t understand you just sk him and he will explain and explain until we get the concept.”

Lisa Lee – Student, Louisiana School

“We normally take extra classes and Saturday classes too and we always do morning classes and evening classes. I also study at home too and when I come to school too and I would say that my parents and my family are my biggest supporters but I am confident I am going to pass the PSE.”

Alex Tush – Student, Louisiana School

“So far the preparation for the PSE has been excellent during this time and this period because now I think I am now more advancing in my studies so to take this PSE seriously his time.  No but I am just trying to take advantage that some friends are telling me that yes it is kind of difficult but so far I have studied and so far it feel like a normal examination and I am anxious to take it but not nervous.”

Isabelle Swasey – Student, Louisiana School

“I have been taking extra classes, Saturday classes; evening classes and I get extra help from home with my parents.  The way how my teacher is doing it is very good and it is very easy to understand and so am ready for Monday.”

Maria Novelo - Reporter

“What has been the most challenging part for you, are you getting the material?”

Kaini Obando

“Am getting it and my teacher is a good teacher and like for example when we were in the previous classes and didn’t catch up with something he would teach it and then review it to make sure we learn the concept and so we can learn it as to how it will come on the PSE.”

And while they have been nonstop cramming and preparing for the big day, the advice given by the teachers was unanimous.

Maria Novelo - Reporter

“Now the emotions are varying from child to child, what will be the advice for the weekend do they take it easy, do they cram last minute cram, what would be your advice?”

Dunia Mendez – Teacher, Louisiana Gov;t School

“I believe that we have worked for a long time so I would really advise them to take it easy this weekend and don’t stress and don’t feel nervous we have done everything we can with you and you must know that your input has been great and am sure it will show at the end.”

Faustino Juchim – Teacher, Trial Farm Gov;t School

“Since we started in September we were pushing and I can say that they didn’t even had time to rest; they had homework on a daily basis, weekends they had projects and I mean we had to exposed them to everything because time was too short if we look at curriculum wise we had to achieve that in a certain time and the only way we could have accomplished that is by pushing them so we are telling them tomorrow is the last day so Saturday and Sunday just relax remain cool and keep focus and on Monday do what you have to do.”

Interesting to note is that this year a high number of students with special needs will be sitting the exams. MN for CTV3 NEWS

Statistics from the Ministry of Education, Exams Unit reveal that approximately 7608 students will be sitting the exam. We wish them all, well and good luck!

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