Deshawn Bryan, speaks in an interview with JIS News at his former school, the St. John's Primary School in St. Catherine.
Photo: Dave Reid

Since the tender age of four, Deshawn Bryan has expressed a desire to be a student at Kingston College (KC).

When the results of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination were published, the St. Catherine-based St. John’s Primary School student went into celebratory mood, knowing that his dream had come true.

He told JIS News that by attending Kingston College he will be able to hone his football skills and will be successfully guided towards his other dream of becoming a medical doctor.

Deshawn expressed appreciation to the various stakeholders at the St. John’s Primary School who allowed him to use the Internet facilities while schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grade-six teacher at the school, Karen Williams, shared that very close to the PEP examinations, Deshawn missed over one month of study, due to Internet challenges.

Teacher at the St. John’s Primary School, Karen Williams (left), makes a point to one of the institution’s top students, Deshawn Bryan (second right), while at the St. Catherine-based school recently. Others from l(second left) are mother of Deshawn, Denessa Roye, and Vice Principal, Cynthia Dawkins.


She noted that she decided to cease working from home, and headed to the school, where he was helped.

“I recognised that he was extremely bright, after I assessed him for the reading assessment,” she said.

Ms. Williams, lauding the family for the role they played in Deshawn’s education, pointed out that that Deshawn “picked up well” after he got reliable Internet access for the online classes.

“The December exams came around, and you would not know that he had missed six weeks of school,” she tells JIS News.

Describing Deshawn as a people person, Ms. Williams said it would be good for him to get involved in a sport-oriented activity, as “he likes to talk with people… it fits with his personality”.

She further noted that her student is an example of determination, stating that he “did badly in the Diagnostic Test, and he sent me a note saying that he was apologising for letting me down”.

Ms. Williams, however, assured him that his grades did not “define him, and he passed for KC, and I happy for him”.

Denessa Roye, Deshawn’s mother, had no doubt that her son would have done well in the examinations.

“I am very proud of him. He is very hard-working,” she said adding that the entire family assisted in Deshawn’s learning and regards him as their prize.

Vice Principal at the school, Cynthia Dawkins, said Deshawn is like her son, as she had taught his father at the same school.

She pointed out that part of Deshawn’s success resulted from him always being present at school.

Vice Principal at the St. John’s Primary School in St. Catherine, Cynthia Dawkins, speaks in an interview with JIS News.


“He works very hard, and so he is very deserving of assistance. [His] diligence has paid off, and his consistency was rewarded in his high-school placing,” Mrs. Dawkins said.

The Vice Principal informed that Deshawn received 87 per cent for Mental Ability.

“That is a very good score, considering that he had the challenges, and this is the year of the pandemic. I am excited for Deshawn. Parental support is very crucial, he had the support from the school, his parents, and he understood what he needed to do,” she stated.

Mrs. Dawkins noted that throughout the pandemic, the teachers were “always ready and willing” to assist the student and were ably supported by the Principal, Louise Clarke.

St. John’s Primary School has 1,500 students, 63 academic staff members, and 25 ancillary staff.

Thirty-one thousand, four hundred seventy-nine or 84.44 per cent of students who sat the 2021 Primary Exit Profile examinations were placed in one of their preferred schools.

Placement of students in high schools was done using the May 26 Ability Test scores combined with the results of the Grade Four Performance Task exams in Language Arts and Mathematics that the students took in 2019.

The changes were brought about by restrictions to contain the spike in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

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