Features — 13 June 2014 — by Adele Ramos
2014 PSE out – Math continues to bedevil students

The 2014 results for the annual Primary School Examination (PSE) are out, and while they show a slight increase in student performance on English papers, the results also indicate further slippage in Math performance – the worst performance for all the four subjects primary school leavers are required to sit.

The data indicate that nearly half the students – 47% – earned an E in Math, which is inadequate. The national average in Math for 2014 is 52% (a D), down from the 54.2% average in 2013. Only 36% of students who sat the exam scored a satisfactory grade or better.

The news was better for the Science portion of the exam, on which half the students scored above 74%.

The average national score on English rose from 57.8% to 58.4% this year, with the most common score now being C as opposed to the D grade many received last year.

Social Studies performance also slipped substantially from a national average of 67.2% to 60.8%, while Science performance was only marginally lower, registering a national average of 70.6% compared to last year’s average of 70.9%.

A press release issued this evening by the Ministry of Education said that 7,245 actually sat all or part of the exam, although 7,551 registered nationally.

“Of the 7551 who registered for the exam, 306 (or approximately 4%) were either absent for part of the exam, or had an ‘ungraded’ for the English writing paper or the Math problem solving paper, had a ‘no result’ for at least one part of the exam, or had a combination of ‘absent,’ ‘ungraded’ or ‘no result’ for different parts of the exam,” the release from the Ministry of Education said.

It added that, “It is important to note that given the areas [of] weakness identified that the result of the PSE was never intended to be used to cast blame and point fingers, or attempt to shame teachers, schools and other individuals and groups intimately involved in the teaching-learning process in our system.”

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