Last night we reported on the 2017 preliminary Primary School Examination results which were released by the Ministry of Education yesterday morning accompanied by a list of the top twenty five performers who come from various schools across the country. As we had told you, of the 7,077 students who sat the examination papers, twelve year old Curt Smith from Bernice Yorke Academy for Learning in Belize was the overall top performer of this year’s examinations who managed to get a score of 387 points, while seven students here in the north also made the coveted list.
When it comes to the national performance on subjects, statistics show that the general results are average. Figures indicate that 50% of the students who sat the English paper scored a satisfactory level (grade C or better). As it relates to Mathematics, approximately 37% of students also scored a satisfactory mark… increasing slightly by 2% when compared to last year. Data also shows that the majority of scores in this particular subject which calculates to 49%, were recorded in the E or ‘Inadequate’ range and remains of great concern to the Ministry who is reportedly undertaking remedial action to address the issue.
Social Studies on the other hand, recorded a marked increase as 72% of the students managed to obtain a score of C or higher. Of the 72 percent, 31% of these scores were recorded in the A or ‘Excellent’ range. The Science paper, however, saw a decline as only 58% of the students managed to score in the satisfactory range as opposed to last year which recorded 70% of scores in the same range, with the number of students in the ‘Excellent’ range falling from 28% to 13%.
Statistics on a ten year trend of performance by subject indicate that English has remained more or less very stable, with annual fluctuations, showing only a very slight upward trend. For Math, the national mean score has remained more or less constant over the ten years shown with spikes in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013. While similar to 2015 and 2016, the mean performance in 2017 is just above 50.
The scores for Social Studies have fluctuated within the ‘Satisfactory’ range. Figures show that since the year 2014 there has been slight increases, with this year’s mean score going from 63.6% in 2016 to 68.1%. Since 2008, the Science mean scores remained somewhat stable within the Satisfactory and Competent levels of performance. However, a steadily decrease in Mean scores have been closely observed over the last five years.