Howard University Professor Credits Education System for Success


Professor of English at the United States-based Howard University, Dr. Thorell Porter-Tsomondo, has credited Jamaica’s education system for giving her the solid foundation for success.
She said that while the system had its challenges, these were not peculiar to the country, and there was in fact, “a lot to celebrate for education in Jamaica.”
“I got a good foundation in Jamaica, it was excellent; it was when I went abroad that I realised. I was able to excel in a culture that was not my own, was due in many ways, to the very good grounding that I got at an all-age school in Jamaica,” she stated in an interview with JIS News.
Dr. Porter-Tsomondo, who is a past student of Giddy Hall All-Age in St. Elizabeth and had recently visited the institution, commended the performance of the students in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
She urged the 27 students, who will go on to secondary school in September, to continue to strive for excellence.
“Continue to do well, and the more you know is the more you will be able to advance in learning. Education is not about learning facts and figures, it is about learning to think. Don’t just repeat what you learn, but use it to help yourselves and to help others. I got a good start at Giddy Hall, and these students can build on what the teachers instilled in them,” Dr. Porter-Tsomondo stated.
She further encouraged them to “spend less time watching television and give more time to books,” noting that many of the students from the West Indies who excel at Howard University were good readers.
Principal of Giddy Hall All-age, Lucille Barnaby, said that the school performed creditably in GSAT, with a number of students placed in traditional high schools such as Hampton, Munro College and Bishop Gibson.
She lauded the hard work of teachers, especially grade six tutor Adelaide Stone, who arrived at school from as early as 7:00 a.m. and stayed pass 6:00 p.m. to work with the students, and the parents, for reinforcing what the school taught.
“GSAT starts at grade one and my teachers began to prepare our students from day one. This success results from hard work on the part of teachers, who encouraged the students to give of their best in working at their lessons. We worked with the parents, whose support is critical to what we do at the school. We had Saturday classes and it has paid off,” Miss Barnaby stated.
Student, Brittany Dixon, who is heading to the Hampton School, told JIS News that in preparing for the GSAT, “I watched less television, played less and prayed to God for Him to remind me of what the teachers taught. The teachers were like my parents. They are always available to explain and answer our questions. They worked hard for us, and we will be doing our best at our different schools.”

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