The annual PSE awards ceremony was held in Belize city on Wednesday. The top 25 performers in the Primary School Examinations were acknowledged with certificates as well as $1000 scholarships to high schools of their choice. Minister of Education Patrick Faber spoke more about the award ceremony.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: This year as we have now become accustomed to doing, we honor not only the top 25 performers but also those schools that performed well. Those schools that marked improvement or those schools that had a consistent number of passes. So it’s a celebration for the entire school community and the education system when we have a ceremony like this. Two things, it’s a two prong approach, we try to talk about the ills and how we can fix it but overarching all of that is the celebration of the top performers in the exam.
One of the top students at the ceremony spoke about his use of technology in preparing for the PSE. Minister Faber says that the Ministry of Education is looking into digitizing school books at the secondary level.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: As I quoted from that parent who said no internet access, no tv access and so on, and then you heard the top performer said that he utilized the internet to do his research you know. So it really is a matter of the guidance and we know that the technology can be good or bad, it depends on how you use it. We are engaged in this Ministry that is also responsible for science and technology to incorporate the use of technology. You may have heard in our interest in trying to digitize the books at the secondary level. Our second goals would be to digitize all books even at the primary level, but that will come in stages. So we encourage the use of technology but we caution against not using it properly because it can be of detriment and when I say technology I also mean the abuse of television. Our children are quite often hooked on television. Many parents, as a result of not wanting to take on their paretnal duties use the TV as a babysitter and children get hooked on TV from very very young.
Curtis Smith, 1st place in PSE: Well as I mentioned in my speech I would study a lot. I would go to sleep late at night, wake up early in the morning just studying. If I didn’t complete my studies and homework from the night before I’d do it in the morning because the school is strict so I have to get it done by the morning. Paying attention in class helps me because I’m that kind of person who would listen in class and that would help me succeed.
Suamein Palacio, 2nd Place in PSE: It was very hard mentally, I spent a lot of days trying to stretch my time so that I could do everything that I have to do daily. Where I have to go to school, I have to do practice in music I have to study. Every day I would study a certain amount of times so I could be ready for the exams. I would advise that the students will balance their hard work with their play time, that they don’t spend too much time in either so that you could keep a healthy balance so that your brain can take time to process the information that you study.
The $1000 scholarships awarded to the top PSE performers are courtesy of the Ministry of Education.