By Marion Ali
Ashton Tillett, a student of Crooked Tree Government School, is the highest scorer on this year’s Primary School Exams, with an overall 371 out of 400 points.
Andres Hung of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Kenyah Hyde of Bernice Yorke ranked second with 369 points. Alessa Castillo, of La Inmaculada, placed third, with 367 points.
The results show that the performance level of standard six students who sit the Primary School Exams (PSE) has generally remained the same, with little improvements in certain areas.
The results from the Ministry of Education on Thursday shows that this year 7245 students sat the exam, which represented 24 percent increase over the total number of candidates who sat the exam in 2013.
Overall, students’ performance in English has remained stable, with annual fluctuations, but with a slight upward trend and a mean average of 60 percent overall.
This year, 51 percent of the students scored a grade C or better.
For Math, the national mean score stands at 52 percent in 2014.
The Ministry says that the average has remained constant over ten years with spikes in 2008 and 2010, but with a slight overall increase over the last three years.
This year, 36 percent of students scored a grade C or better.
Students’ performance in Social Studies has also registered a steady average, with an overall score of 60 percent in 2014.
In last year’s exam, 58 percent of the students earned a grade C or higher.
The subject that has shown the best performance over the years is science, which showed an average of 70.6 percent in 2014. This year 58 percent of the students scored a grade C.
The Ministry says that since recognizing the areas of weakness in key subjects areas, primarily math, it undertook a pilot project to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics, the results of which it says were positive.
The ministry has been in negotiations with the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) to expand this project to schools across the country, and to include improving the teaching of English and Science.
An essential aspect of the initiative is a $20 million IDB grant for an Educational Quality Improvement project, which is designed to improve teachers’ pedagogical skills, especially in key subject areas such as Math, Science and English.