Common Entrance results are out, how’d your lil’ Einstein do? Hope you didn’t have to risk your pants dropping, in an effort to flash some leather to your young scholar’s buttocks. But who am I kidding? We all know that corporal punishment is as forgotten as researching from encyclopedias. Right?
Tuesday July 8, was confirmation day for the many students anticipating results, having for the past month dreamed of the prizes their parents promised to deliver with their success.
Parents, already forced to turn water into wine in these tough times, were praying that for a few minutes they could forget about their current situation and celebrate; teachers were hoping that their strained vocal chords and diligent instruction would reap them and their school some acclaim.
This year, 2631 students wrote the examinations, registering an average mean of 60.9%. The figure represents a decrease of 0.35% in the overall performance from last year’s mean of 61.25%.
Just over half of the candidates, 1436 or 54.6%, scored at or above the national mean, while 1195 or 45.4% were below. The composite scores for this year’s examination ranged from 12% to 97.33%. Only six students of the total number were unassigned to a secondary school.
Of the total number of students, 784 girls and 652 boys scored above the national mean, continuing the trend of females academically out-performing males; in fact the girls beat the boys in all subject areas.
General Paper was the only subject where there was an increase in performance. Overall the average for English Language dipped slightly (-0.43%) but Mathematics dropped by 3.16 percentage points to an unimpressive 53.66%.
Maths continues to be the achilles heel of Saint Lucia’s primary school students; they struggled most with the Mathematical Problems Part 1 section, scoring only 16.45% out of a possible 40% on the paper.
A total of 70 schools were represented at this year’s examinations: only 30 obtained an average score above the national mean. Twenty-five of these schools were public and five were private.
In terms of top individual performance, Gabriela Flavien of the Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School took that accolade this year with a mark of 97.33%, making it
two years in a row for her school. Tied for second place was Timeeka James, also of Dame Pearlette Primary, Gemmia Jn Pierre of Les Etangs Combined and Prasams Surapaneni of the Plain View Combined in Vieux Fort who recorded 97%.
A fascinating result from this year’s exams were the identical scores obtained by identical twins, Aure and Auren Harrow of the Carmen Renee Memorial, who celebrated their matching scores of exactly 78.67%, leaving everyone in a conundrum. So just how was it possible? Coincidence? Umbilical connection? Certainly beats me.
Forestiere Methodist Primary School topped the exams, with the best overall performance average of 74%. The school, which caters to just over 100 students, had a total of just 14 students sitting Common Entrance. Sabena Welcome emerged as the top student, as her hard work landed her a score of 89%.
The STAR spoke with the school’s principal, Alphia Earnest on the Forestierre’s latest achievement.
STAR: Comment on the school’s performance for this year’s Common Entrance examinations.
AE: We are very proud of the students this year, as they were able to top the Common Entrance exams with an overall percentage of 74%. At the Forestiere School, because of where it’s located, it caters a lot to students within the community so it’s a community school.
Over the years we have managed to always come up above the national mean and basically the students do very well at our school. The teachers have worked very hard and I am pleased that they have been able to reap the benefits of their hard labour.
STAR: Were you able to record a 100% pass rate?
AE: Yes we did, the students did very well.
STAR: Is this the best the school has done at Common Entrance?
AE: Yes it is. About five years ago we placed second on the island but this is the first time we’ve had the top average.
STAR: In your opinion, how were the students able to achieve this success?
AE: I’d like to credit the hard work of the teachers, the discipline of the students and the fact that we are able to work with them.
Our classes are small and so we are able to give our students the individual attention that they need. We were able to cater to the differentiated needs that they have and I think that this has helped us.