- Three students – Gabrielle Nelson, Jhauna-Belle Ellis and Zoé Hume – have been presented with scholarships valued at $60,000 each, for scoring excellently in Mathematics, and their overall performance in the recent Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.
- Gabrielle, who attended St. Richard’s Primary School in St. Andrew, and ranked 46 in the examinations, will be attending Campion College; Jhauna-Belle, from Southborough Primary in Portmore, St. Catherine, who ranked 150, will be attending Immaculate Conception High School; and Zoé, who attended Howard Cooke Primary in St. James and ranked 247, will be moving to Mount Alvernia High in September.
- They were presented with their prizes, including a gift basket, during a special luncheon held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on July 30.
Three students – Gabrielle Nelson, Jhauna-Belle Ellis and Zoé Hume – have been presented with scholarships valued at $60,000 each, for scoring excellently in Mathematics, and their overall performance in the recent Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.
Gabrielle, who attended St. Richard’s Primary School in St. Andrew, and ranked 46 in the examinations, will be attending Campion College; Jhauna-Belle, from Southborough Primary in Portmore, St. Catherine, who ranked 150, will be attending Immaculate Conception High School; and Zoé, who attended Howard Cooke Primary in St. James and ranked 247, will be moving to Mount Alvernia High in September.
They were presented with their prizes, including a gift basket, during a special luncheon held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on July 30.
A total of 42,846 students were registered to sit the exams. PEP is the series of tests that has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary school entrance examination. It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical thinking capabilities at the end of primary level education.
Gabrielle said she is grateful to Tang for the award, which will “go a far way in supplementing our first-year expenses at high school”.
“When you’re going into high school, it’s different, so you need to study more and just focus on your work,” she told JIS News, as she offered words of encouragement to other students.
For her part, Gabrielle’s mother, Marva Watson-Nelson, also expressed thanks, noting that she supported her daughter in preparing for the examinations.
“I’m feeling grateful. I support her a lot, stay up with her and help her with her projects and her schoolwork,” she said.
Explaining the PEP preparatory process, Zoé told JIS News that “instead of spending weekends at home, I was at extra classes. I would stay after school with my other maths teacher, Ms. Gayle, and we would spend nights studying”.
She extended gratitude for the award and urged students not to fear the subject. “It may seem hard at first, but you can’t get anything out of life without a bit of work, so it will work out eventually,” she said.
In an interview with JIS News, Zoé’s father, Courtney, said the preparations started in grade two when his daughter hated the subject.
“She had a teacher who told her and told us that without maths, she is not going anywhere, and that one afternoon changed everything for her. My wife is also a teacher, she’s actually the Vice-Principal at Mount Alvernia where she is now going, so the effort was made,” he said.
He shared that she participated in workshops and acquired the relevant material that would assist her in her exams.
Mr. Hume said the award signifies that all the hard work paid off and thanked Tang for offsetting some of the back-to-school expenses.
“For this company to really recognise a dying art of persons aspiring to be mathematicians and encouraging them, it’s very good and one of the best things that any corporate player could have done for these students,” he told JIS News.
For her part, Jhauna-Belle’s mother, Latoya Crawford, who collected the award on behalf of her daughter, said she is pleased that all her hard work has paid off.
“On behalf of Jhauna-Belle, she is quite elated; she loves maths; that’s her favourite subject. I don’t think she was expecting this, but I know she is very grateful and, of course, honoured to be the recipient of this award,” she told JIS News.
“There were a lot of late nights and a whole lot of extra classes, Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays, and sometimes Sundays. I had to be up and about. I had to dedicate all my time to her to ensure that she did well. She topped her school, I’m happy for that, so that paid off. There were prayers of course,” she said.
Mathematics Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, praised TANG for its continued support to education through the programme.
She commended the students for the hard work, so too the teachers, parents and others who helped to lay a strong foundation.
“We extend congratulations to the students who have proven themselves; who worked hard; studied very hard, being consistent in their efforts, and have reaped a wonderful reward,” she said.
Dr. Benjamin encouraged the students to stay focused, set goals and be committed to working to achieving them, adding that the parents should continue to support their children in achieving this.
“The journey is not even half done. The next step is probably going to require a little bit more than the step you just completed,” she said.
President, Jamaica Teachers’ Association, Dr. Garth Anderson, urged the young students to dream big, choose their friends wisely and continue believing in themselves.
“The world is there for you to conquer. Go now, work hard and conquer the world; the future is really in your hands. Make use of the opportunity you are getting now… remain focused on your goals and success will be yours,” he said.
For her part, Brand Manager for TANG, Shellian Thompson, noted that the awards scheme, now in its ninth year, aims to recognise outstanding achievement in mathematics by rewarding top-performing students.
“We hope more stakeholders will come on board to help us to better the results in this subject for next year and beyond… . Maths is too important an area to lag behind,” she said.
She implored the recipients to continue working hard. “Nothing in life will come easy, but that should never deter you. High school is a different ball game with different rules and players, but with the right mindset, you can do it, and you have demonstrated that just by being here today,” she said.