Janae Matute scores high in PSE

vlcsnap-2013-06-11-10h54m06s132When the first half of the Primary School Examinations was sat back in March, we introduced you to Janae Matute – a vibrant and gifted 12 year old, who was born with Cerebal Palsy – a motor condition that causes physical disability in human development. But being differently-abled does not stop young Janae from living life full throttle and it certainly does not impede on her academics. In fact, Janae is one of more than seven thousand students who sat the PSE, championing the focused subjects – Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science. And today, she received her results and not only did she pass with an impressive grade average of 73, but she scored the third highest in her school. We caught up with her mother Georgia Matute, who was in high spirits about her daughter’s performance.

Georgia Matute – Janae’s mother:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-10h54m31s90Her grades were:  English, she got 61; Maths, she got 60; Science, she got 84; and for Social Studies, she got 90.  Her average was 73.  We’re very excited. She took third place for the school.
Sometimes people believe that these children are not capable of doing this, but I just want to give God all the thanks, all the glory, because he has proved to the world, to Belize, that these children are capable of passing the PSE.
I want to say thank you to all those who assisted, all her teachers, her friends.  I just want to say thanks very very much.  Janae really worked hard.
I feel very excited.  I can’t even express how I feel, because Janae has really made me proud, just like my other kids, but Janae has really really fought a good fight, a good fight of faith I have to say.
High School is next for both of us.

When Janae was born, doctors’ prognosis was less than encouraging; they said she would have not been able to attend school or even speak. But Janae sure did prove them wrong and continues to blossom. She told us about her future goals and we also spoke with her teacher.

Janae Matute:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-10h56m26s169I’m really excited. 
[The PSE was] good.  
I am going to high school [and then] college. 
I will study to be a doctor. 


Selmita Ponce – Standard VI Teacher:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-11h01m12s23Since Janae is the first special needs student that went and took the exam and did so good, it is wonderful for the other students coming behind. She has set a record for them and they need to keep it up and continue. If Janae can do it, she’s telling then that they can do it too.

Janae was allowed to take her exams in a private session and was allotted additional time and while Ms. Matute is grateful for these provisions, she still believes that the Ministry of Education can do even more to better accommodate students with special needs.

Georgia Matute – Janae’s mother:
We need to cater to these children, give then a fair chance.  By giving them a fair chance, I mean like at least cut down the amount of questions, or problem solving questions, whatever.  Cut down the amount of problems or give them more time or something.
For the second part of the PSE with the Maths, it was so much for Janae.  For paper one for Maths she had to do 50 multiple choice questions.  Then paper two she had to do ten problem solving.  So by the time she ws through she was like, “I am tired of seeing figures, Mommy. I’m tired of seeing figures.”   Then she still had to do the Social Studies, 50 multiple choice questions.  So she was extremely extremely tired, but she never gave up.
I know with more time Janae could have done even better, because Janae is capable of doing it, but she needed more time.  Maybe they could extend it to two days.

While we were at the Raymond Sheppard Primary, we caught up with the students who placed first and second for the school.

Zariya Obi:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-10h59m31s72[My result was] 89.
[I feel] good.
[My parents] are happy for me.
I want to become a scientist.


Darnell Anderson:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-10h59m52s39[My result is] 77.75.
[I’m feeling] good.
I have to listen in class, ’cause every time we had to stay back at school so we can study.
[I want to be] a doctor.


Selmita Ponce – Standard VI Teacher: 
First of all I want to thank God for allowing me to work with the students.  The students worked really hard.  I’m really really proud of my students. It took a lot.  We had to work really hard, but they were up for it, and so we run with that. I’m proud of them, and I thank God for being a part of their lives. I just want God to continue to keep them, and watch over them as they go to High School. 

Janae, along with her classmates will graduate next week Friday. She will be graduating with honors and is set to deliver the ceremony’s Vote of Thanks.

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