KINGSTON — Thirty-four students, who received scholarships for their performances in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), were honoured on Thursday July 21 at the Wyndham Hotel, New Kingston.
The scholarship awardees were selected from a pool of 43,000 students, who sat the two-day examination in March this year.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, urged them to continue to strive for excellence.
“You represent, at this point, the best of your generation in terms of academics. From you, of course, will come, clearly, the human capital that will lead the society but a part of your role, having attained the top of the academic stream, is to develop a social conscience that Jamaica cannot prosper with only the bright,” he told them.
“You have a greater social responsibility to make sure that everyone in your generation gets an opportunity to succeed…as early as possible we want you to develop a social conscience, that social conscience will be engendered by the re-establishment of civics in the curriculum in our schools,” he said.
Top boy scholar was Janvier Marshall of St. Richard’s Primary, while top girl scholar was Jeneil Green of Vaz Preparatory. They were awarded the Scotia Bank Foundation Shining Star Excellence Top Girl and Top Boy scholarships.
The top four recipients of named Government scholarships were: Clinton Reid, Kensington Primary, Kingston, who won the Marcus Garvey Scholarship; Tashique Gibson, Sturge Town Primary, St. Ann, won the J.A.G. Smith Scholarship; Monique Parker of Bridgeport Primary, St. Catherine, won the George William Gordon Scholarship; and Shayon Brown of Lysson Primary, St. Thomas, won the Paul Bogle Scholarship.
J.A.G. Smith scholar, Tashique Gibson, who will be attending St. Hilda’s Diocesan, thanked the parents, families and teachers who motivated and nurtured them to do their best.
“Being awarded with these scholarships, place a great responsibility upon us and it goes without saying that we will do our best to maintain this high standard,” she said.
Government scholar, Charles Rockhead, who will be attending Campion College, said that they will do their utmost to maintain and exceed the high exemplary standard, not only in academics, but in life as young adults in the society.
“This is just one of the challenges we will face in the future. Our success only serves to reinforce what we already know so well, success is only guaranteed, if we are dedicated to the task and work assiduously,” he said.
Other Government of Jamaica scholarships were awarded to 14 boys and 14 girls from primary, preparatory and private schools.
The named top four scholarships awarded by the Government of Jamaica are valued at $180,000 per annum, while the other 28 scholarships are valued at $100, 000 per student per annum. Private sector companies also gave scholarships to students. They include the Scotiabank Foundation, Guardian Life, Jamaica National Building Society, Petrojam Limited and Gas Pro.
A total of 43,479 students were registered to sit GSAT on March 24 and 25 in 1,004 schools, including 797 public and 207 private institutions. The number included 11 children who were home schooled. Of the total registered, 1,833 students were absent from the examinations. Approximately 71 per cent of the students were placed based on their preferences.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter