Primary and preparatory schools in St. James say they are pleased with the results of the recently released Primary Exit Profile (PEP), despite the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the full administration of the examination.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information released the results of the assessment on Friday, June 26.
With the closure of schools in March due to COVID-19, the students were placed based on the grades they received in the Grade 4 Literacy and Numeracy Test, the Grade 5 Performance Task and the Grade 6 Ability Test done in February.
Principal of Anchovy Primary, Cheryl Grant-Mitchell, says the school’s administration is happy with the performance of the students, noting that approximately half of 153 pupils who were registered to sit the examination, were placed at traditional high schools, including Cornwall College, Montego Bay High School for Girls and Ruseas High in Hanover.
“I think the results are great and we are satisfied. Personally, I was a bit nervous when I learned that the children would not be able to sit part of the grade-six leg of the exam. However, I think the Ministry has done a fine job in using the exams done at grade six along with exam grades acquired at the other levels, and the placements in my opinion are very good,” she tells JIS News.
The Principal credits the performance of the students to the hard work put in by teachers to prepare them.
“Based on the grades we have seen, they have done very well. We have students who acquired full marks in the ability test that they were being prepared for from the lower level,” she says.
Belenda Bowen Richards, whose son Matthew was named the top performing boy at the institution, says she was overjoyed when she was informed that her son secured a spot at Cornwall College, the school of his choice.
Mrs. Richards shares that she had confidence in her son’s abilities, although she was a bit disenchanted after news emerged that students would not be able to sit all the components of PEP.
“His [overall] score was very good and I am feeling really good about that. I am so proud of him. I was disappointed about him not being able to sit all the exam, because he put in a lot research and studying… but he did well,” she says.
At the Corinaldi Primary School in Montego Bay, Acting Principal, Deon Stern-Anglin, tells JIS News that the students’ performance was nothing short of excellent, with 208 of the 276 pupils achieving the required competency.
She points out that 103 students were placed at the school of their choice.
“This is a school of excellence and our hallmark is to be excellent at all times. Two hundred and seventy six students sat the examination; 208 students got pathway One, which is the highest; 60 students got pathway Two and four students got pathway Three, which is the lowest,” Mrs. Stern-Anglin notes.
For her part, Principal of Harrison Preparatory in Mount Salem, Joan Brevitt, says that of the 26 grade-six students who sat the exam, the majority have been placed at traditional high schools.
The Principal tells JIS News that teachers and parents were elated when the results were published.
“We had a cohort of 26 students and we had 22 of them achieving pathway One. We have placements at Wolmer’s Boys; Mannings School in Westmoreland; Munro College, St Elizabeth; Westwood High in Trelawny; Montego Bay High; Cornwall College; Irwin High in St. James, and Ruseas in Hanover,” she notes.
Top-performing student at the institution, Jhaeda Dennis, who earned a place at Montego Bay High School for Girls, tells JIS News that hard work and strong family support contributed to her success.
“I feel good about myself, but I can’t take all the praise, because if it wasn’t for God and my family I wouldn’t be here,” she says.
Her mother, Sheriese Rhodes, says she is happy with her daughter’s exceptional performance.
“I am very elated. I wasn’t surprised so to speak, but was surprised that she topped her school. She is a hard worker, dedicated… and super-competitive, so she always tries to be on top,” she tells JIS News.