Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for East Central St. James, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has awarded book grants, trophies and other prizes, valued at $2.5 million, to some 125 students from the constituency, who excelled in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
The presentations took place at the Annual GSAT Awards Ceremony at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, Wednesday (July 21).
Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for East Central St. James, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, interacting with students participating in the 13th Annual GSAT awards ceremony at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, in St. James, on July 21.
Special awards and cash presentations of $25,000 each were made to the most outstanding boy and girl – Akyhiem Allen of Buckingham All-Age and Jendayi Linton of Dumfries Primary. They were also presented with the Edmund Bartlett Trophy for Academic Excellence, which they will share for the rest of the academic year.
In addressing the large number of students and parents attending the ceremony, Mr. Bartlett said that, in addition to making over $3 million available this year for all students engaged in the GSAT examination, some $1 million would also be made available, from his Constituency Development Fund (CDF), to prepare students at the Grade 4 level to reap greater successes in GSAT.
Mr. Bartlett told JIS News that the programme is financed through fundraising events and supplemented by his CDF contribution.
"This year we plan to spend an extra million dollars on the Grade 4 level, the objective of which is to double this year's performance in two years; meaning, that the GSAT students for 2012 must give a result of at least 250 passes in the constituency, with at least 50 attaining between 90 and 100 per cent pass levels," he said.
Students from John Rollins Success Primary School in Rose Hall, St. James, performing a dance during the the 13th Annual GSAT awards ceremony at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, in St. James, on July 21.
Mr. Bartlett stated that after consultations, he has concluded that special attention should be paid to Grade 4 level in all schools in the constituency this year, to ensure that they have the requirements to enable them to master literacy and numeracy so that when the students get to Grade Six (the GSAT level) it will be smooth sailing and far better grades.
He congratulated the students on their achievements, and assured them of his support in their future educational developments.
"This year, I am a proud Member of Parliament, as some 123 students achieved between 80 and 100 per cent, and I assure you that this is a record in my 13 years in this constituency," the Minister said.
Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for East Central St. James, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre), with top boy, Akyhiem Allen (right), of Buckingham All Age School and top girl Jendayi Linton of Dumfries Primary, the 13th Annual GSAT awards ceremony at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, in St. James, on July 21.
He noted that, of the 123, 21 had averages of 90 and over and 102 had averages of 80 and over.
The top school was John Rollins Success Primary and the top performing boy and girl Akyhiem Allen and Jendayi Linton scored 95 per cent averages.
Mr. Bartlett emphasised that when the schools are properly equipped and managed, students can move from 'zero performance to hero performance'.
"It has been for me the greatest sense of pride to carry this programme over the years . knowing that we may not be able to provide for all the needs of the constituency, but I think that if we can empower you and ensure that your capacity for learning can be expanded each day, then we would have achieved our objectives," he said.